In 8 1/2, Fellini explores the pressure of being an artist, who has a creative block and struggles with his persona. Marcello Mastroianni's character not only tries to save his film but his own sanity and marriage. As the production of the movie advances, memories and dreams begin to merge in the plot. It also seems like Fellini uses 8 1/2 to comment on real-life criticism on being a surrealistic filmmaker. "Forgive me, but this might be the most pathetic demonstration ever that cinema is irremediably behind all other arts by 50 years."
I wouldn't say that I understood everything and this movie definitely deserves a rewatch. I didn't dislike the movie but also didn't love it. (I acknowledge it's importance and influence nonetheless) I completely understand the love this movie gets, it's definitely well deserved but having seen Synecdoche, New York first, I think I prefer Kaufman's take on a similar subject. This is probably due to Kaufman's protagonists usually being stuck in their own head, which is something I can relate to.
Although I have to admit, while they are thematically similar, 8 1/2's tone is light and even comedic at times, while Synecdoche is grim and depressing. Kaufman says that he apparently hasn't seen the movie, which I find hard to believe but I feel like this was a huge influence on Lynch and the lynchian surrealistic style. Lynch: "Fellini was, for me, a great source of inspiration. La Strada and 81/2 were magnificent"
8 1/2 is objectively beautifully crafted and I don't have any complains, let's see if I enjoy this more on a rewatch.

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