8½

★★★★½

Whether or not this always worked for me on a personal level is kind of irrelevant. It’s such a revelation from a filmmaking standpoint that I see why this seems to be taken from the Criterion Closet considerably more than any film.

Though it’s nominally a comedy, what I took away most was Fellini’s frustration with his own success. Once you’re labeled a genius, anything less than that means you’re finished. No one’s ever called me a genius, but as a composer I understand all too well the feeling of creative bankruptcy; that fear that the next thing you create will be the last one you have in you. It’s more than writer’s block, it’s the feeling that every ounce of creative energy left in you is gone. And I’m only 21! I’m sure it’ll only get worse with age.

Really enjoyed this, the opening scene and climax are spellbinding and the fantasy sequences (though the harem one is a bit yikes and goes on for too long) and memories are exquisitely beautiful.

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