Dec’s review published on Letterboxd:
My Dears... Happiness consists of being able to tell the truth without hurting anyone.
First Fellini film. Ride of the valykies wow, was not expecting to hear that in this. Can’t help but picture Vietnam (Damn Coppola). A lot of classical pieces of music, full of Nina Rota on the soundtrack, the score is very soothing, I recognised music similar to The Godfather! Deliberate choice to avoid main actors face in most shots (at the beginning anyway)
This is a very horny film, lot of the closeups in the film happened everytime a character was introduced/a woman came into the scene, that was interesting. Heavy Pulp Fiction inspiration from that dance scene. Not sure what the film is going for, its very random with a lot of vibes thrown in but maybe this is the point to capture an artists brain, Guido’s
mind? The script was good a lot of memorable lines, cinematography was pleasurable, one of the best looking b&w films I’ve ever seen, superb lighting, some nice smooth pans and tracking shots too. The women were stunning, the characters felt like they all had a personality. Really well made but I can’t call this a masterpiece, I get it’s about creative block, meta, surrealism, women, artistic love. I just couldn’t get into the story at all, the runtime and pacing I thought was a bit lengthy, for a film that’s beautiful looking it was very dull. I think I prefer Kaufmans film. What everyone is saying about Fincher’s Mank is what i’m echoing to this. Although seems quite complex and layered that I can’t break down all on one viewing, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Maybe on a rewatch I’ll notice.
Fun fact: The title refers to the number of movies Federico Fellini had directed up until that point - six features, two shorts (films #7 and #8) and a co-directed film with Alberto Lattuada, for a total of 8 1/2 films.