Author Topic: 8 1/2 (Otto e mezzo)  (Read 2683 times)


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8 1/2 (Otto e mezzo)
« on: July 03, 2010, 02:45:31 AM »

Title: 8 1/2: The Criterion Collection
Year: 1963
Director: Federico Fellini
Rating: NR
Length: 138 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: Italian: Dolby Digital: Mono, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Mono
Subtitles: English, Commentary

Marcello Mastroianni
Claudia Cardinale
Anouk Aimée
Sandra Milo
Rossella Falk

One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini's '8 1/2' ('Otto e mezzo') turns one man's artistic crisis into a grand epic of the cinema. Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastrioanni) is a director whose film - and life - is collapsing around him. An early working title for the film was 'La Bella Confusione' ('The Beautiful Confusion'), and Fellini's masterpiece is exactly that: a shimmering dream, a circus, and a magic act. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the 1963 Academy Award® winner for Best Foreign-Language Film - one of the most written about, talked about and imitated movies of all time - in a beautifully restored new all digital transfer. Disc Two features Fellini's rarely seen first film for television 'Fellini: A Director's Notebook' (1969). Produced by Peter Goldfarb, this "imagined documentary" of Fellini on Fellini is a kaleidoscope of unfinished projects, all of which provide a fascinating and candid window into the director's unique and creative process.

Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Production Notes
22-Page Booklet, Film for TV, Gilliam Intro

My Thoughts:
I was really looking forward to watching this movie as I had heard so much about it over the years.  I have to say, I really struggled through it because of the language barrier.  The movie is mostly in Italian with smatterings of French and English thrown in for good measure.  I do not speak or understand Italian so I had to rely on the subtitles (forced).  There is no English audio track.  Having to read subtitles detracts so significantly from the enjoyment of the movie since I had to focus so intently on the subtitles, I know I missed a significant amount of the visual impact of the movie as well as the nuances of the background dialog that was not included in the subtitles.  The dialog was so rapid in certain parts of the movie that I simply could not keep up with the subtitles and missed some of the dialog altogether.  I could have backed up and rerun those sections, but I felt this would ruin it even more.

In spite of all of that, I thoroughly enjoyed what I did understand.  Mastroianni and Cardinale are superb.  The plot flips back and forth between the present, the past and a “dream world” as a director struggles with the equivalent of “writers block”, prima donna actresses, bizarre producers, a marriage in serious trouble, a mistress and childhood ghosts. 

I must admit, I’d probably had one too many beers when I sat down to watch this, so I am going to watch it again before the end of the current alphabet marathon and then update this review later.  Perhaps I can learn Italian by then!


Offline Antares

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Re: 8 1/2 (Otto e mezzo)
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2010, 02:47:17 AM »
This is one of Fellini's films that I have never had success seeing all the way through.