mariavoronina’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Criterion Challenge 2021
Allora… what a stylish stream of consciousness. A true work of art. Fellini was showing himself in this film, I can only assume. A person who wanted to share his emotions, but wasn’t sure how exactly, so he picked “show” instead of “tell”. Federico is hiding behind Guido’s mask, a director who wants to make a film, but doesn’t know what it’s about.
Suffering and dismay are both natural habitat of a creative person. In order to create, one must accumulate experiences, often painful and uneasy ones, and then pour them out.
I was somewhat taken aback by the candidness of said stream of experiences. It almost felt like I was intruding by watching 8 1/2. I saw a person going through a crisis, not a creative one but a personal one. He says “I’m unhappy” and tries to uncover the root of his troubles. As chaotic as it seemed, the film had logic to it. The plot wasn’t driven by scenes but by phrases.
In turmoil, Fellini asks a question and answers it him. It’s quite simple, the film was about love all along. This is ultimately his frank conversation with himself. I don’t know what the point was, but I loved it.