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Federico Fellini’s 8½ returns to cinema screens after being beautifully restored from the original negatives by Gaumont and Eclair and made available from BFI. Arguably the definitive film about filmmaking, Fellini’s alter ego is Guido Anselmi (played by Marcello Mastroianni on magnetic form), a film director suffering from creative block immediately after scoring a big hit. He is hounded at every turn, as his wife Luisa (Anouk Aimée), his mistress Carla (Sandra Milo), his ideal actress Claudia (Claudia Cardinale), friends, the paparazzi and his producers pursue him tirelessly.
Everyone wants a piece of him just at a point where he has nothing to offer. Searching for inspiration, he trawls his dreams, memories and desires. A notable favourite of filmmakers (directors as diverse as Guillermo del Toro, Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson have cited its influence), 8½ remains enduringly heady, vitally influential, impossibly glamorous and completely irresistible. (Notes by Michael Hayden)
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