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Fellini's masterpiece 8 ½ comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The Italian soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence. This Image release is fine for those interested in the film, but Criterion's release of the title is worth the extra monetary investment for those who love the movie.
Satire,Showbiz Comedy,Ensemble Film,Psychological Drama
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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]