8 1/2 Review

The story of a filmmaker (Mastroianni) besieged by writer’s block and trying to put his life back in order amid visions and countless subplots.

by Steve Goldman |
Published on
Release Date:

17 Jul 1974

Running Time:

138 minutes



Original Title:

8 1/2

Given a spare lifetime and an ample supply of digestives, one could easily wade through the tomes devoted to one of the cinema’s greatest practitioners and this, his most complex film. Made in 1963, it still has the power to beguile and divide.

The film won a Best Foreign Film Oscar and Fellini was nominated as Best Director, but critical opinion is far from unanimous, with some distinguished critics finding it an intolerably pretentious exercise in self-indulgence. Indeed, while critics for the last 26 years have tried to unravel its personal references, much of it is incomprehensible on first viewing - though no less enjoyable for that - and as such is one of the cinema’s most powerful personal statements.

Fellini is legend and many consider this the great man’s masterpiece.

A sprawling anything-goes portrait of the artist and the creative process in crisis.
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