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8 1/2

Italy/France 1963
produced by
Angelo Rizzoli for Cineriz, Francinex
directed by Federico Fellini
starring Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk, Barbara Steele, Madeleine LeBeau, Caterina Boratto, Eddra Gale, Guido Alberti, Mario Conocchia, Bruno Agostini, Cesarino Miceli Picardi, Jean Rougeul, Mario Pisu, Yvonne Casadei, Ian Dallas, Mino Doro, Nadia Sanders, Georgia Simmons, Edy Vessel, Tito Masini, Annie Gorassini, Rossella Como, Mark Herron, Marisa Colomber, Neil Robinson, Elisabetta Catalano, Eugene Walter, Hazel Rogers, Gilda Dahlberg, Mario Tarchetti, Mary Indovino, Frazier Rippy, Francesco Rigamonti, Giulio Paradisi, Marco Gemini, Giuditta Rissone, Annibale Ninchi
story by Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, screenplay by Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, Federico Fellini, Brunello Rondi, music by Nino Rota

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Suffering from a severe creative crisis, film director Guido (Marcello Mastroianni) repeatedly postpones the shooting of his latest picture, hides the fact that he doesn't even have a finished screenplay yet (and lacks inspiration to finish it), and tries to leave everything behind, seeking rest and relaxation  at a health resort - but even there, everyone seems to follow him, including his right hand man Mario (Mario Conocchia), who tries to sell him his mistress, English actress Gloria (Barbara Steele), his own mistress Carla (Sandra Milo) he is less than fond of, his producer (Guido Alberti), his wife Luisa (Anouk Aimée), a French actress (Madeleine LeBeau) he's supposed to cast, a cardinal (Tito Massini) he's supposed to suck up to, his leading lady Claudia (Claudia Cardinale) who wants to learn more about her part, and many many more.

Being under constant siege from all these people does little to trigger his creativity, and to hide that he has his production company build a life-size rocket. Slowly though, Guido loses grip with reality and starts daydreaming about executing people getting on his nerves, living in a harem with all the people he once had and so on.

The whole thing ends in a press conference at the construction site of the rocket Guido is forced to hold, a press conference during which he doesn't answer a single question and at the end of which he actually shoots himself ... but wait, that could be a daydream too, because at the end of the film, he organizes everybody in a big dance number around the rocket construction site.

 


Originally, Federico Felliini started out as part of Italy's neo-realist movement. However, he was never much of a model proponent of that movement, refusing to adhere too closely to that genre's strict laws. La Dolce Vita finally saw Fellini starting to break away from Neorealismo, a break that was finalized in 8 1/2, a film that refuses to be tied down to a stringent narrative and in which the boundaries between reality and fantasy are pretty much smashed as a principle. But while that might sound odd and brain-heavy, 8 1/2 is actually a very accessible and light-footed film, a film that doesn't try to be anything out of the ordinary but just is what it is, a very personal but greatly written introspective film that is at the same time a well-staged and well-filmed, star-studded spectacle, a piece of art that's also a light-footed comedy, and an artfilm made to attract a big audience.

In a word, a must-see!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD