Friday, January 28, 2011

Federico Fellini's 8 ½

Federico Fellini, 1960, Italy, bw (8.3*)
Federico Fellini's 8 ½ is probably Fellini's most famous film, and is certainly his most artistic. It's a bit surreal for most audiences, but if you don't mind getting visually assaulted with all types of seemingly unrelated images, such as rockets on launching pads, nuns, beautiful women modeling high fashion, and don't get overwhelmed by all the symbolism, then this could be an enjoyable ride through the senses.

Otherwise, it may provide two hours of tedium as there is no real story progression, nor any gripping characters or plotlines. It's more about the style and inner mind of Fellini himself, and less about a vehicle of entertainment for the masses. The title supposedly refers to Fellini, who is the one-half, played by Marcello Mastrionni, as a director plagued by self-doubt, and eight women in his life, mostly ex-wives.

Personally, I prefer his study of decadence among the famous, La Dolce Vita, as it's Italian realism; this is Italian surrealism, closer to Salvadore Dali's artwork than, say, a Vittorio De Sica drama. Yet this ranks very high on all-time film polls. It's #37 on our survey of all internet film polls..

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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