#196 / 365 – ‘8½’ (1963) – 138 mins
IMDb Challenge #117 / 250 – Ranked #186 – Via Lovefilm
8 1/2 is about Guido Anselmi, an Italian director who has lost all inspiration for his upcoming movie, and it’s too late to back out. And aside from the fact that he can’t make the film, his mistress, wife, producer, and all the rest of his friends, are pressuring him about one thing or another. So he retreats into his dreams to shelter himself from the pressure, and there, he finds inspiration to make his new film, and face the world.
8½ is my third Federico Fellini piece I have encompassed on my IMDb Top 250 quest – the other two being ‘Nights of Cabiria’ (1957) and ‘La Strada’ (1954).
There are times (not overly) in 8½, in what is the Italian’s most personal autobiographical feature does border on self-indulgence side. But for the most part, it’s a beautifully shot in its surrealistic black and white imagery, with the opening dream sequence and the final dance on the beach being the most effective, and delightfully scored, to make the film a perceptive exploration into the art of film-making, albeit slightly overlong at 138 minutes.
If you’re looking to encompass any of Fellini’s work, then I recommend you begin with the unforgettable and more delightful La Strada, before 8½ which was the inspiration for the musical drama – ‘Nine’ (2009).