6. 81/2 (1963)

Directed by Federico Fellini

Written by Federico Fellini, Emilio Flaiano,  Tullio Pinelli & Brunello Rondi

Produced by Angelo Rizzoli

Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee & Sandra Milo

Country: Italy

Running time: 138 minutes

Release date: February 14, 1963

Why you should see it?

81/2 is a semi autobiographical movie, where Guido (Fellini’s alter ego) is searching for balance between childhood traumas and idealism, between sense and intellect and between artistic integrity and success: this movie feels almost like you are watching a dream.

The title of the film refers Fellini’s eight and a half films as a director ( to the date of making). The movie inspire also the musical “9” and won 2 Academy awards Best Foreign Language and Best costume design.  This movie is consider an avant-garde film and highly influential; in which Fellini endowed stylistic tendency to emphasize images over ideas. 81/2 is the best film ever made about film making, the film mixed Fantasy and reality and in some way this became Fellini’s search for validation in his work.

81/2 is Fellini’s last black and white film that proves to be a transitional film in his career. In the film he finally got rid of his religious iconography of his earliest neorealistic films, to be replace by a comic absurdity and exaggerated imagery (which became his signatures after that).

PLOT

Famed director Guido Anselmi is working on his latest movie – part science fiction, part commentary on Catholicism, but most importantly primarily autobiography. Despite Anselmi declaring that this movie should be an easy one to make, he is having problems with his artistic vision, specifically as he does not want to tell a lie on screen. From the stress, he has checked himself into a spa to help him with many of his problems, both professional and personal. As he works through these problems, he reminisces about his childhood and fantasizes about how he either sees things playing out or how he hopes they will play out. Surrounding him at the spa and/or on set are many of the real life people who will be portrayed on screen including: his wife Luisa who he loves but who he does not fully understand especially as it relates to their marriage; his mistress Carla, the antithesis of Luisa; and an actress named Claudia who he sees as providing his ultimate salvation.

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