The Criterion Collection
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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 Mastroianni) 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 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 is a kaleidoscope of unfinished projects, all of which provide a fascinating and candid window into the director's unique and creative process.
Criterion truly out did themselves with Fellini's masterpiece 8 1/2. Not only is the digital transfer stunning, but it's also loaded with extras. The anamorphic widescreen (aspect ratio 1.85:1) has few noticeable artifacts and looks extremely vibrant. The Mono Italian audio track is crystal clear and Nino Rota score sounds wonderful. 8 1/2 is incredibly autobiographical and unless you are a Fellini scholar a lot of the innuendos may be missed. Luckily, there is an amazing duel commentary, which provides many historical and metaphorical interpretations putting the surrealistic images into perspective. The second disc includes two documentaries and candid interviews with those who worked closely with Fellini providing an interesting 'inside' perspective. If there is one Fellini film to own, it is 8 1/2, and this Criterion DVD is the one to get. It is absolutely flawless. --Rob Bracco
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Very highly recommended!
Just one more thing--during filming, Fellini kept a note on hand to remind him, "Remember--it's a comedy." Viewers should so the same. Don't take it too seriously!
The visual world of Fellini is like none other .
This film would be great for those going through a mid life crisis , but luckily the rest of us can find something in it .
One of the questions it puts forward , is 'could someone start their ( internal ) life again' ? The main character has many parellels to Fellini , but forget about that when watching .
There are ideas about creativity , intellectuals and the movie business itself .
I note there are a lot of used copies of this DVD as it is not one you watch for entertainment , or often for that matter .
It is unashamedly 'arty' , so keep that in mind .
Rent before buying .
It is a film everyone should see , though .