Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimee & Claudia Cardinale
Note: I had just finished writing this review when the battery ran out on my laptop, I attempted to re write it word for word, resulting in a very incoherent review, sorry.
''My Dears... Happiness consists of being able to tell the truth without hurting anyone.''
Finally my '8 and 1/2' DVD arrived and finally I was able able to see the widely beloved classic. '8 and 1/2' is the most well know piece of work in the filmography of legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini, the film illustrates the hardship of making a film.
Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) is a disheartened filmmaker, who in his latest project is being continuously harassed by co-workers, acquaintances and even his wife. Guido attempts to escape into a world consisting of his memories and fantasies.
When watching this film, I kept wondering to myself if Fellini was basing these events on his own experiences. The film revolves a Director, who appears to have once cared passionately about the art form, but upon entering the world, he becomes disheartened by the show business' side of film, and money hungry producers who don't seem to care about the creative process. Was this what happened to Fellini ?, We know he continued to make unique and personal films for the duration of his career, but were his preconceptions destroyed upon entering the business and realizing that creativity can sometimes take a back seat ?
The film is usually described as a comedic drama, and while I felt the dramatic aspect was always present, I never thought of the film as a comedy, sure I can understand some audience members finding it humorous, This film played as a brilliantly executed and horrifying surrealistic nightmare. I personally have ambitions to be a filmmaker later on in life and I love films, so to see a character depicted who has become a filmmaker but has lost passion in the art was frightening to me.
Fellini's direction is masterful, he so brilliantly blurs the thin line between dreams and reality, that it is damn near impossible to pin point when a fantasy begins and when it ends. I also have to mention Gianni Di Venanzo 's cinematography, which is absolutely spell binding, hes work in the fantasy aspect truly transports us to a different world, very awe inspiring.
The performances are all excellent, Marcello Mastroianni is brilliant as Guido, he truly captures the characters despair hollowness. The amazing Claudia Cardinale lights up the screen whenever she is present, the rest of the cast is all great.
'8 and 1/2' was a truly unique and one of a kind experience, It may be the seminal film that chronicles the process of movie making, capturing all the heartache and imagination involved. Fellini was a master of his craft and '8 and 1/2' may just be his masterpiece.