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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Favorite Foreign Film
This reviewer received promo considerations or sweepstakes entry for writing a review.
Gave this film earlier to my nephew, to whom I think it seemed old-fashioned, but he remarked on the shifts between reality and dreams (one of the film's main points, in my opinion). Of course movie-making technology has changed a lot since 1963. But if you don't mind gorgeous black-and-white photography, this is unquestionably one of Fellini's best. Plot-wise, it's about a film director (played by Mastroianni) with some hits to his credit who is facing a sort of writer's block, feeling pressure, especially from intellectuals and critics. At the beginning he is experiencing sort of a breakdown. But the show, of course, must go on. So it is about the process of trying to create when having potentially debilitating self-doubt, coming to terms and sorting things out. Note: not many bonus features on this Essential Art House DVD, but the film stands beautifully on its own.
This review is from Essential Art House: 8 1/2 [Criterion Collection] [DVD]