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8 ½
aka - Otto E Mezzo
Italy 1963
Directed by Frederico Fellini
Running time 188 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


The director's regular stand-in, Marcello Mastroianni, plays Guido, a successful director suffering from the equivalent of writer's block who looks back on his life and loves as he is harried by various hangers-on.

Fellini develops some of the themes of La Dolce Vita in what was his most personal and idiosyncratic film to that time. An art house classic, it won Oscars for Costume Design and Best Foreign Film but if you're not familiar with Fellini's work this is not the best place to start as it indulges the director's reflections on the inability to create - not in itself the most captivating subject for a creative work  - and his own experiences growing up.

FYI: The film was so called because it was Fellini's 7th feature plus he had made three short films each of which he counted as a 1/2. An alternative explanation is that the title referred to the age the director was at he time of his first sexual experience. Truffaut did his version as Day For Night (1973) whilst Woody Allen reworked it as Stardust Memories.

 

 

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