8½

"Happiness consists of being able to tell the truth without hurting anyone."

Certainly ephemeral, surreal, thick, exhuasting. I felt like I was being tied behind a horse running for my life trying to keep up. I was not struck by this movie so much as I was immensely frustrated by it. Maybe this is the same? 8 1/2 seems to stay one step ahead of me, addressing my concerns and gripes just before I articulate them. It's like the "inb4" of movies. Yes you're going to be mad about this but you can't be mad because I'm so self aware and I've already addressed it.

The commentary on women left a bizarre taste in my mouth and I'm pretty sure it's a bad taste. As long as he is honest he gets to bang as many chicks as he wants? And his wife accepts that? Maybe there is some condemnation or some satire somewhere that went over my head. I don't feel bad for the guy, but again the film addresses this, heads off my complaints by explicitly stating that his character doesn't inspire sympathy. It's acknowledged. Does this self awareness absolve the movie of it's sins? Does it ease my gripes? I'm not sure that it does.

I am however always intrigued by catholic guilt, and I love an angsty priest "who told you we were put on this earth to be happy?" and we have the excellent opening sequence and the dream scenes throughout that were surely influential but I can't get over the weird hurdles with the women. Multiple times we hear that Guido doesn't know how to love, he doesn't know how to make movies about love, he can't seem to help himself with his womanizing behavior. Perhaps a faustian bargain with the devil (Saraghina)?

Still wrestling with Fellini and 8 1/2 but for now these themes about womanizing are insurmountable. Happiness consists of telling the truth without hurting people, but in this case the truth is that he's cheating on his wife, which is inherently hurtful.

I'll leave a rating off until I've seen some more Fellini stuff, maybe that will clear some things up

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