Cameron Semple’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is the first film I've had the privilege to see from "Il Maestro" and needless to say its perfection from top to bottom.
8 1/2 toes the line between fantasy and reality with an acute precision. The plot follows a director who feels he has no idea what he is doing and deplores the fact the he is essentially making it up as he goes along. In some ways 8 1/2 itself comes across as the scribblings and flailings of a mad man but it overtakes this criticism by being elegantly hyper-meta. Whereas a director generally inserts himself into a film in some form or another, 8 1/2 feels as if it transcends the filmmaker and forcibly extracts his essence into itself. Sounds like pretentious slop I know, but that's the best way I can put it. Italian neo-realism is difficult to place mentally and this is no different but that's what makes it special. It has the ability to be avant garde while still being emotionally resonant and snarky in its humour. It's stacked with famous sequences of which have been paid homage to by countless filmmakers including Tarantino in Pulp Fiction and Scorsese in his "Il Maestro" essay. A legend respected by legends.
8 1/2 continues to stand the test of time as one of the crowning achievements of cinema and Fellini as a groundbreaking innovator in the medium of film. This quote by Ebert encapsulates him best I feel, "A filmmaker who prefers ideas to images will never advance above the second rank because he is fighting the nature of his art." Wise words.