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8 1/2 (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Writers: Federico Fellini, Brunello Rondi, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli
  • Producers: Angelo Rizzoli
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Jan. 12 2010
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B002U6DVQM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,700 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

8 1/2 (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

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Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, his 1963 semi-autobiographical story about a worshipped filmmaker who has lost his inspiration, is still a mesmerising mystery tour that has been quoted (Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, Paul Mazursky's Alex in Wonderland) but never duplicated. Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido, a director trying to relax a bit in the wake of his latest hit. Besieged by people eager to work with him, however, he also struggles to find his next idea for a film. The combined pressures draw him within himself, where his recollections of significant events in his life and the many lovers he has left behind begin to haunt him. The marriage of Fellini's hyper real imagery, dreamy sidebars and the gravity of Guido's increasing guilt and self-awareness make this as much a deeply moving, soulful film as it is an electrifying spectacle. Mastroianni is wonderful in the lead, his woozy sensitivity to Guido's freefall both touching and charming--all the more so as the character becomes increasingly divorced from the celebrity hype that ultimately outpaces him. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The prominent film director Guido (Marcello Mastroianni) finds himself overworked, harassed, and fatigued in all aspect of being. Guido is sent to a health spa where he is supposed to recover from his stressful life, but instead is continuously pursued by people around him, by his past, and by his conscious. The people around Guido are either dependent on him, desire his company, or merely try to advertise themselves in his presence. In order to cope with a large number of people Guido has developed a social dance where he is able to circumvent or approach the individuals of his choosing. This dance is also Guido's way of dealing with life and its complications, which affects him physically, psychologically, and socially.
8½ fragmentally displays Guido's life as he dances between reality, dreams, and memories in the developmental stage of a film production. This cerebral dance helps him to avoid what is deemed as uncomfortable as he escapes into his memories where he can find some joy and peace. However, Guido often reminds himself of how his past sometimes plagues him as he can recollect deep memories of discomfort and guilt. These negative emotions lead Guido into an internal crisis where he struggles with his decisions in the light of moral judgment that is heavily weighted by his Catholic upbringing. Despite the internal crisis, the dance continuous as Guido is compelled to flee his painful memories by seeking company outside of his marriage as he seeks self-affirmation when he is alone. The cheating provokes further guilt which urges Guido to remain dancing as he escapes into a dream world where he attempts to unify memories with the present where his consciousness sets the rules.
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I saw 8 ½ (1963) for the first time on South Street in Philadelphia at the old TLA theatre. I was in my mid-twenties and liked the big-breasted women. Saw the movie again yesterday at the Colonial in Phoenixville, PA, a wonderfully restored small town theatre, and reentered the world of the great director Federico Fellini. The cast consisted of Marcello Mastroianni (mid life crisis of the great director), Claudia Cardinale (the perfect woman), Sandra Milo (the chesty but dim lover) and Anouk Aimée (the ordinary wife he cheats on).For Fellini, 8 ½ continued a trend away from the realism of his early movies to a surrealistic view of his own life. The film has a simple premise. The great director has no idea what his next movie is about, while his producer and film company wait for Mastroianni to tell them what the movie is about. It does not help that Mastroianni falls in love with every woman in the cast and every woman he ever knew. The famous harem scene is near the end of the movie, where all the women in his life await his every whim. The older ones get banished upstairs. When the women revolt, he gets his whip and regains order. The women love him again. Oh, irony, but in Surrealism, Freud reigns supreme and dreams are a wish. I rate 8 ½ one of ten best movies ever made.
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Format: DVD
The first time I saw 8 1/2, I grasped bits of its structure but didn't really understand it. It challenges you to understand it. Then I listened to the commentary track, and everything fell in place, more or less.
The story, if we can say there is one, follows Guido, a movie director, staying at a health spa while trying to organize his next movie. His problem is that he has no idea what the movie is about, nor does he know what he is doing. Everything in his life lacks balance and he cannot admit the truth to himself or others, so he looks inwards to try to find answers, while being hounded by disgruntled actresses and journalists.
8 1/2 has a multitude of narrative levels, even its own critic. At a first viewing, you have an utter but "Beautiful Confusion", as the movie was first supposed to be called. But there *is* a method to this madness, and if you are very patient and have the DVD commentary track, you can understand it, I promise you. I think I managed that, but it's difficult (I don't want to give it away, however tempting it is). There is a reason why it's called an art students' favourite.
Contrarily to what some ignorant critics have said, 8 1/2 is not about creativity or making a movie or somesuch nonsense. There is strictly no movie-making in this movie, as Guido has no screenplay, and no idea where he is going. Trying to explain this movie cannot be done, unless you simply tell the truth - that it is an exploration of Fellini's psyche and problems. The movie itself feels more like a sustained emotion than a movie, because we are basically exploring one gigantic theme, and we just don't know it. It is not an easy movie to watch emotionally or to remember, because the storyline is fragmentary. It's more like a dream than an actual story.
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Format: DVD
It's a toss up as to which film is the greatest film about film by a true film artist, and even harder to put this film up against Truffaut's masterwork simply because DAY FOR NIGHT hasn't been available on home video in an appreciable form ever. Both deal with a director having trouble putting a film together, but they're handled in two amazingly different, yet similar styles (with a bow/jibe to Fellini in Truffaut's work). It's also interesting to note that this film about filmmakig is perhaps the best examination of how an artist works in his medium using that medium - hard to visuallly dramatise the elusive discipline required for writing, singing, painting, poetry, dancing or sculpting on film, no matter how many times filmmakers in the past have tried. Yet 8 1/2 shows AND tells what's it's like to be a filmmaker.
Criterion's splendid rendition of Fellini's chez d'ouvere is a benchmark for the restorative process of DVD! The blacks have never looked this black, except maybe in Gianni di Venanzo's head - and the constast is startling, another reason why the major film distribution companies should spend the time and care restoring them pre-1970 catalogs.
The commentary is incredibly informative, the documentary a peculiar glance inside Fellini's head without the benefit of a narative structure and the visual commentaries by Lena Wertmuller and the incomparable Vittorio Stararo contextualize this film in a fascinating way.
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