8½ (1963)

 


 

A picture that goes beyond what men think about – because no man ever thought about it in quite this way!

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies. Full summary »

Genre: Drama,Fantasy

8½ (1963)
   
Release Date: 25 June 1963 (USA)
Country: Italy , France
Director: Federico Fellini
Cast:
  • 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


33 Responses to 8½ (1963)

  1. BadMoFo9
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    Anyone else think this is perhaps the finest dream sequence ever filmed? The opening of Wild Strawberries was too artistically-constructed to feel genuine, but 8 1/2 has the right ammount of surrealism in it. It’s also the definitive introduction to Guido- he’s trapped in a traffic jam as a gas fills his car, suffocating him. People are stairing on. Fellini perfectly captures that need to escape, that primal urge to break out of man’s world and just fly away, which he does, until he’s tugged back down by a stranger, forced to confront his little hopeless day-dreams and approach the reality of his crisis.

    "F#ck 3D!"William Friedkin

  2. BadMoFo9
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    Did anyone else find Fellini’s use of music in this film particularly striking? Predating Kubrick, Fellini’s music acts soley as ironic counterpoint, not to heighten emotions, but to create a foreboding sense of irony, and also, in an uncanny way, to downplay situations. A boring scene in the park, as Guido is greeted by an arrogant critic, features Rossini playing in the backround. Later, "Ride of the Valkyries", an intense and exciting piece, plays over lingering shots of Guido’s POV, looking at just the daily ritual of dull people walking through the park.

    Does anyone have any takes on Fellini’s reason for including so many famous classical pieces to score dull, sardonic scenes? Maybe it’s just that the charecter of Guido finds lasting joy soley in music. He’s a director- he loves the emotion of music, and he wants to create a world more exciting than his own, but he’s struggling to make his film, and the music probably reflects his outlook.

    "F#ck 3D!"William Friedkin

  3. aakurara
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    It’s the scene where Guido is waiting for Carla at the station, does not find her among the passengers who got off the train, and concludes that after all she didn’t make it. Then the train pulls back and ecco! she’s got off on the other side of the railway track.

    I know where I had seen this gag and it’s older than this film at least by 35 years, but is it just a common joke? How many people knew that she would be there alright, only is screened by the train?

  4. WarNerve626
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    I just watched this on TCM and I believe its the same print Janus has, as the Janus logo appears at the beginning.

    But the subtitles seem incomplete or something. One character will talk and the other will reply, but there won’t be subtitles over the dialogue. This made a rather challenging film even more difficult to follow. Does anyone know why this movie does this? Is it intentional? Are there better subtitles out there?

  5. TheTrollEmperor
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    I just felt I had to say that.

  6. gotsdiner09
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    …and still don’t like Citizen Kane after three viewings. What the eff is wrong with me?

  7. fellini812
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    Give the leg twist a try. It’s near impossible if you want to do it effortlessly. Marcello was a genius. Bravo!

  8. gloriamorin21
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    just interested, what would you say are your top ten favourite films of all time?

  9. karmala2
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    seem to be the template for today’s eyeglasses. The narrow, rectangular frames; everyone wears those now.

    "I told you a million times not to talk to me when I’m doing my lashes"!

  10. THEKINGOFCOMEDY
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    I think I’ve just got the Joke.

    Rob Marshalls new film with Day Lewis, Dench and Kidman.

    It all makes sense now.

  11. logic1246
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    Was 8 1/2 the inspiration for Charlie Kaufmans Synechdoche, New York? I heard somewhere that Kaufman was a huge fan of Fellini and the movies are quite similar.

    They are both surreal.

    They both are about directors who feel lost, stressed, and pressured in their work.

    They both involve their own hectic lives in the epic masterpiece they are trying to create.

    I understand there may be many films 8 1/2 inspired, but Synechdoche seems like Kaufmans dedication to Fellini.

    Any thoughts?

  12. hulk8747
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    Bland, stupid, boring, uninteresting, confusing, and just plain dumb. All those words describe this film.

  13. rtd3ws
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    I never saw any "genius" in anything that Fellini ever did. His movies were rambling, crude and uninteresting. This one epitomizes those qualities too. Don’t waste your time watching this interminably long, boring and poorly made movie.

  14. megaheartx
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    is there a place online to watch this film? or is it available on dvd?

    day-lewis/streep/cotillard/tucci FTW

  15. moviegeek2000
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    i know what your thinking they have no comparison and the reason im asking is because i want to get the critirion of both of them but can only get one i havnt watched any of them i just i want to know yall guys opinion on which ones better

  16. filmfan86
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    I didn’t really like La Dolce Vita – is this a better or more likeable film? or is it likely I won’t like this one either? I do want to see it – because of its reputation, because I like Marcello Mastroiani (yes i know its prob spelt wrong), and in interest with the new film Nine.

    Do you have monkeys in Scotland?

    ~No, but if we did we’d probably deep fry them!

  17. MetsnVettes
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    I just watched this film in my Film Studies class and christ oh mighty, I’m exhausted. I don’t think I remember a 5 second gap in this whole movie where they weren’t cutting eachother off and speaking in lightning fast italian. The SECOND one of the girls stopped talking another one started shrieking, and then another one then another one. Then Guido would talk and get cut off by one of the ladies then that lady would get cut off and again and again and again. Maybe it’s italian mannerisms but i wouldn’t want to insult anyone by assuming that. If that is the case though I don’t plan on ever visiting that country.

    I Don’t Know Peter Just Get Off the Fu((King Rock!!!!

  18. rwinter-5
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    Having read many reviews over the years about how great and influential this film is supposed to be, I finally got round to watching it this week. It took me four days as I could only watch about 30 mins at a time before getting so bored I had to get off the couch and do something else. If it wasn’t supposed to be such a ‘great masterpiece’ I wouldn’t have stuck with it beyond the first instalment.

    Now I don’t think I am stupid, ignorant, or insensitive (before you fans start accusing me) – I have an IQ of 143 and enjoy ‘real’ films, including French, Italian and Japanese cinema, but I just don’t get the hype with this one. Yes, its ‘surreal’ but lets face it, its boring! Apart from a couple of exceptions, the acting is atrocious, the pace is uneven, the dialogue second rate, etc. etc. Does ‘surrealism’ excuse all this?

    You can get enjoyable, interesting and intelligent ‘surreal’ films – look at the work by Powell and Pressburger for example, or even Bergman or Lars von Trier. Can someone please explain why I should have to make the effort with 8 1/2? It takes more than ‘cool sunglasses’ to get me excited about a film!

    Rich

  19. Mr_Stark
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    First of all, I have no intention of insulting the movie but it never captured my attention. It’s the second critically acclaimed movie that I couldn’t sit through, and I sat through Eraserhead recently which i find quite a feat. I guess I’m not into surreal movies as much, because i found it to trot along slowly. I don’t want to come out and say it’s overrated, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it just wasn’t that interesting for me.

    My tastes in movies are varied, and i couldn’t quite give you a superficial list of my favorite movies, but I’m quite familiar with the silent era of film making up to early talkies. You can sort of get a basic idea that I have an interest in film and not a short attention span.

    I guess what I’m asking is if there’s something that I’ve missed with this movie.

    Now you can shoot me lolol

  20. seangal824
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    I think this title suits the film better. Translated it’s, "The Beautiful Confusion."

  21. karmala2
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    last night on TCM. Typical 1960’s Fellini (as opposed to his more linear "La Strada", "Nights of Cabiria", etc.) I actually walked away from it a few times but I was never bored, as some people were. And I had no idea Barbara Steele was in it. Wow! She is so cool and wearing a mini skirt in 1963, very fashion forward.

    "I told you a million times not to talk to me when I’m doing my lashes"!

  22. Anonymous
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    This message has been deleted by the poster

  23. RashomonLaStrada
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    the last thing you see on screen is that group of clowns playing musical instruments. I always thought the flute-player in white was a small person (midget?). Just watched it again…

    I think the flute-player at the end is a little boy in a white uniform. Could that be the depiction of the young Guido?

    "The good end happily, the bad unhappily, that is why it is called Fiction."

  24. IceKeyHunter
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    Never before have I seen a film so bizarre and yet… so grounded in truth. I’m gonna have to contemplate this one for a while; I’ll probably end up seeing it again and again by the end of the summer.

    I don’t even know what to make of it, or even if I liked it. My local Barnes & Noble had a 50% off sale on the entire Criterion Collection so I picked this one up… popped it into the DVD player around midnight and stared transfixed for 138 long minutes. I say long because that’s how it felt; and I admit to being bored in places but I’m still in awe of what I’ve just witnessed.

    If anybody is having doubts about seeing this movie, you’re allowed; and in all honesty I can’t even guarantee that watching it will remove them. But if you love cinema, you are almost obligated to give this one a try whether you end up liking it or not.

    That’s my take.

  25. PriceOfAnarchy
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  26. joearmstrong
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    I felt that the fact that Guido clung to the memories of all of the women may have suggested a lack of psychosexual development, supported by his childish perception of his wife, happy to dote on him ("It’s time for his bath!").

    The kaleidoscopic depiction of the women, with Luisa left in the periphery, seemed to be an indication of his subconscious awareness of his neglect of his wife.

    Anyway, pretty sure that there are better interpretations than that…

  27. AsaNisiMasa92
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    On the commentary on the Criterion they say the song is called "Cadillac" but I can’t find it anywhere. Anyone have more information about this song that could help me find it?

    Accept me as I am.

  28. moviegeek2000
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    hello everyone i just got the critirion edition of this film im 14 years i so i didnt expect myself to completley understand nor love because my dad said its more of a mature like film i watched and loved it i think its the best film about filmaking i really liked the script i loved guido’s charactar so the next dvd i pick up will be the seventh seal critirion which looks brilliant as well

  29. mroa2638
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    Greetings 8 1/2 ppl. I’m a science student from Australia.

    About two years ago I developed a strong passion for drawing human faces.

    I would very much like to share some of my drawings with you, seeing as I don’t exhibit my work. I paint/draw [every night] from home.

    Many of my pictures are inspired by my writing(s).

    Here is the link to my latest video ‘drawings of mystery and imagination’:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbHTkA2E4hc

    (Or simply type mroa2638 into the youtube search engine.)

    Thanks!

    Mroa2638

  30. etidunseen2
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    What is the game that Guido is playing as a child and then is on the board that the psychic guesses? Can anyone explain the mechanics of this game because this is one part of the film that defeats me.

  31. palefire-1
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    Specifically where were these scenes shot?

    The cemetery / dream (with the father’s glass tomb)?

    The health spa?

    Saraghina’s bunker?

  32. dir_by_ade
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    -Sat 1/2/10 – 11:30am Federico Fellini’s Classic "8 1/2" – FREE with any ticket stub from "NINE" (from the Art Theatre). The film that inspired "NINE".

    2025 EAST 4TH STREET ~ LONG BEACH, CA 90804 ~ 562.438.5435

  33. jcgcsc
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    people out there who loved 8 1/2 and is also looking foward to seeing Nine. 8 1/2 is my 5th favorite film of all time, I think Felleni and Mastroianni are godly. At the same time I dont feel ripped off by Nine. In fact it looks promising to me, however on every thread I see people are ripping it. Am I alone? If not speak up!

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