Walter Andrade’s review published on Letterboxd:
Eight and a Half might be my favorite Fellini.
From the pressure of making another epic film such as La Dolce Vita and what will become of this director after this, from the lack of inspiration about how to start a new screenplay, Fellini gives us his masterpiece, his most acclaimed work, his eight and a half film.
Indeed, Eight and a Half came after six movies, two shorts and a collaboration with Alberto Lattuada, and the title is an obviously reference to the film Fellini himself was making.
Aesthetically speaking there is no doubt this is my favorite Fellini. The atmosphere of chaos inside Guido's mind, his lack of perception between life and reality are completely translated to the screen not only by the mix of very different musics, but also by the mix of dreamlike-reality colors. Fellini didn't want so separate one from another because this confusion is the same confusion Guido feels; apparently, the character wants to imitate life with his film, but he obviously can't, so he retreats in his symbolists dreams and tries to avoid answering questions about the nature of the film.
Eight and a Half is filled with awesome and meaningful characters, every single one of them essential. From the pedantic critic to the fancy mistress, Fellini not only increases the tension about this creative crises with the abyss in which Guido finds himself, but also criticizes the vanity and superficiality of the modern society.
This film is general and personal at the same time. It is chaotic and beautiful. It is anxious and hilarious. It's about lack of creativity and it's filled with creativity. It's absolutely captivating.