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Director: FEDERICO FELLINI

ITALY • 1963 • SUBTITLED • BLACK AND WHITE • 139 MIN


AS A FILM ABOUT A FAMOUS DIRECTOR (GUIDO, PLAYED BY FELLINI REGULAR MARCELLO MASTROIANNI) STRUGGLING TO MAKE A NEW OPUS, 8½ CERTAINLY INVITES A PERSONAL READING.
Its title refers to the number of films Fellini had directed up to then; Guido is, like Fellini, a film director of international repute. Yet 8½ can be taken as a metaphor of much wider significance. It recreates, with all the frustrations and vicissitudes, the experience of trying to Come to terms with the world, to make sense of it.
Convoluted and self-reflexive, 8½ comes across as the ultimate art-movie. Yet in many ways it is a profoundly anti-intellectual film. Its famous ending is a rejection of all kinds of intellectual or systematic attempts at making sense of the present by scouring the past for clues. This is the key to the last scene, in which Guido imagines gathering together everyone he has known and dancing round a circus ring with them.

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