×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

8 1/2

With 8 1/2 Federico Fellini tops even his trendsetting La Dolce Vita in artistry. Here is the author-director picture par excellence, an exciting, stimulating, monumental creation.

With:
Marcello Mastroianni Claudia Cardinale Anouk Aimee Sandra Milo Rossella Falk Barbara Steele

With 8 1/2 Federico Fellini tops even his trendsetting La Dolce Vita in artistry. Here is the author-director picture par excellence, an exciting, stimulating, monumental creation.

Basically, it is the story [by Fellini and Ennio Flaiano] of a 43-year-old director’s crucial visit to a health resort to cure an undetermined illness. At the spa, he is confronted with a series of crises of a personal as well as professional nature. He is about to start a major film production, but totally lacks inspiration for it.

At the same time, he is worried about his physical condition, is becoming bored by the voluptuous mistress he has brought along with him, and disappointed by his wife’s continued inability to understand him. All the while, he is hounded by production managers, would-be stars, scriptswriters.

Flashbacks to his youth and flash-forwards in the form of daydreams illustrate the director’s inner qualms and worries, resolved at the finale by his realization that, after all: ‘life is a feast; let’s live it together,’ taking the good with the bad.

Popular on Variety

8 1/2 defies telling or description. It is a 140-minute seance on the psychiatrist’s couch, in which the author turns himself inside out, confessing his innermost thoughts and problems, and finally reaching his apt conclusions.

Once again, Fellini gets top assistance from his large and colorful cast. Marcello Mastroianni is excellent as the middle-aged director, often deliberately bearing an uncanny resemblance to Fellini himself. Sandra Milo and Anouk Aimee fight it out for second honors, respectively as mistress and wife. Claudia Cardinale makes several strikingly effective appearances as Mastroianni’s symbol of pure creation. Nino Rota has penned a haunting score for the picture.

1963: Best Foreign Language Film

8 1/2

Italy

Production: Rizzoli. Director Federico Fellini; Producer Angelo Rizzoli; Screenplay Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Brunello Rondi; Camera Gianni Di Venanzo; Editor Leo Cattozzo; Music Nino Rota; Art Director Piero Gherardi

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1963. Running time: 140 MIN.

With: Marcello Mastroianni Claudia Cardinale Anouk Aimee Sandra Milo Rossella Falk Barbara Steele

More Film

  • Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan

    Harvey Weinstein's Request to Move Trial Out of NYC Is Denied (Again)

    An appeals court denied the second request from Harvey Weinstein’s legal team to move his trial out of New York City on Tuesday. Weinstein’s attorneys asked the Appellate Division last week to move the trial to Albany or Suffolk County, arguing it is impossible for him to get a fair trial due to the “carnival-like [...]

  • Adrian Rossi appears in Summer White

    Visit Films to Sell Sundance Player ‘Summer White’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    New York-based sales company Visit Films has acquired worldwide rights for Mexican feature “Summer White,” world premiering in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition on Sunday Jan. 26. Visit will also be screening the film at Berlinale’s European Film, Market. Now a key North American sales company for Latin American films, Visit’s catalog includes other major [...]

  • Avengers Endgame

    4DX High-Tech Cinemas Break Box Office Records in 2019

    CJ 4DPLEX, the company behind multi-sensory 4DX cinema technology, has announced that it had a record-breaking 2019, grossing more than £246 million ($320 million) for 4DX worldwide. It was the best year yet for the groundbreaking format, marking a 12% increase from 2018’s record $286 million. The uptick is partly credited to booming revenues in [...]

  • Endeavor Content Studio Logo

    Endeavor Content, Exile Strike First-Look Deal With Mexican Producer Subtrama (EXCLUSIVE)

    Endeavor Content is upping its local-language game, signing a significant first look deal with Mexico City-based producer Subtrama. Endeavor enters the deal with Exile Content Studio, a long-form English and Spanish content maker. Subtrama is behind films like Gael García Bernal’s “Museo.” Mauricio Katz, Manuel Alcalá, and Panorama Global’s Gerardo Gatica and Alberto Muffelmann run [...]

  • Taylor Swift Variety Facetime

    How Midterm Elections Inspired Taylor Swift's New Song, 'Only the Young'

    Miss Americana was keeping another song about America in her back pocket, as it turns out. Taylor Swift recorded a song during her “Lover” album sessions, “Only the Young,” that was held back and kept under wraps for the right occasion — that occasion turning out to be “Miss Americana,” the Lana Wilson-directed documentary that [...]

  • Bradley Cooper Nightmare Alley

    Netflix Nabs Bradley Cooper's Leonard Bernstein Drama

    Netflix will back Bradley Cooper’s upcoming drama about Leonard Bernstein, the legendary conductor and musical maestro behind “West Side Story” and “Candide,” Variety has confirmed. The film was initially set up at Paramount. It has an A-list lineup of producers, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Todd Phillips. Kristie Macosko Krieger from [...]

  • The Simpsons - Disney parodies -

    Disney Mashes Up 'The Simpsons' Parodies of Disney Films, Theme Parks

    Disney has embraced some of the gentle ribbing dished out by “The Simpsons” over the years — hoping to convince more people to sign up for Disney Plus. The media conglomerate released a compilation of what it calls “the best Disney references in ‘The Simpsons,'” which is now part of the Disney empire, with past [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content