elizabeth 🌈’s review published on Letterboxd:
Masterpiece.Yes I had the luxury of actually watching the whole movie without also hearing loud trap music.
At the end of I Vitelloni a main character jumps into a train and escapes from the town he was raised.And he never returns.In the same way,Fellini after I Vitelloni never returned into pure neorealist filmmaking.In Dolce Vita Fellini-esque was born.A term used to describe Fellini's iconic,surreal style.But in my opinion it's in 8 1/2 were Fellini masters his style.
Breathtaking on his visualls and poetic on his dialogue,Fellini here creates his magnum opus.His protagonist is creatively barren,but Fellini is certainly not.
Fellini uses editing to transcend both time and space.At times,we don't know where or when the story is taking place.That combined with the dark,stunning black and white cinematography creates the dreamy,surreal atmosphere that the movie is well known for.
Fellni enters his protagonist's head,but he also enters our own.We can not really relate to a narcissistic man child that's is going through a middle life crisis,but we can definitely relate to that bizarre feeling surreal dreams make us feel.It's that feeling of confusion and exhaustion that the camerawork and Mastroianni perfectly capture.Guido feels stuck,and so do we.
The movie contains some of the best dream sequences ever filmed and its one of the greatest character studies in film history.It tells a story that is autobiographical but in a weird way the story is also very universal.
Its a story about letting your ego die and starting to love everyone.Its a story about art.Art as a celebration of life.A celebration of love and friendship.A story about the past and how to befriend it.At the end,you realise that life and the people you've met are a circus.An absurd circus that marces on.A circus of chaos that is connected.A circus filled with the women,friends and the family you have interacted with throughtout your life.The circus exists to give meaning to your life and your art.And then the circus holds hands and it dances a dance that is eternal and beautiful.
Nino Rota's magical music combined with Fellini's flawless visualls.A perfect combination that creates a perfect movie.A movie that is bold,refreshing,surreal,hypnotic,captivating,creative,ahead of its time and as timeless as a movie can be.8 1/2 is a perfect,life changing experience.One that by the end,makes you feel redeemed.
That pulp fiction dance sequence?That opening?That ending?The way music is used here?
Pure perfection.Fellini's finest film and one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen.
(claudia cardinale has a special place in my heart).