amrit’s review published on Letterboxd:
8 1/2 opens with the protagonist, guido's nightmare: he's suck in a traffic jam where everything around him is frozen, and he's suffocating in his car. He escapes and flies to the clouds, only to be pulled down back to earth by his irritating assistants. these 3 minutes mean a lot of things: 1) the car could represent the restraint and pressure his producers and everyone else puts on him, all the people frozen, staring at him = pressure, too. His escape, flying to the clouds = metaphor for his ideas? always thinking big? head always in the clouds, only to be dragged down back to earth: again, assistants asking him to keep things realistic and all.
seen this movie 4 times now and my immediate reaction as soon as it was over was "shiiit, i need to see this again, i missed so much." noticed a lot of new things this time around. the movie guido is working on is LA DOLCE VITA. maybe that's why this didn't fully click w/ me until i went back and saw LDV. gloria is literally mia wallace, everything from her haircut to her clothes to her dancing.
i looooove the structure here, the autobiographical elements(childhood) elements that would in some cases drag the movie down, mixed w/surreal dreams + reality, all blended together to the point where you can't tell them apart. reminds me of godard's CONTEMPT and what this does so well that was lacking in that.
i don't think there's a single movie in existence that explores like... the inner workings of the human mind better than this? jumbled, incoherent, messy, cluttered, random people show up out of nowhere. feels less like a movie and more like what it would look like if you put a camera inside someone's head. Being Guido Anselmi.
it's impossible to fully gauge the influence this movie had, from BRAZIl to SYNECDOCHE NY(which is a shit stain on this movie's underwear btw, fight me).
more to (probably) come after i eventually see this a 5th time