Watching Fellini's classic for the first time is like walking into an empty room and diving into a conversation with people you don't know. While talking to them, you are not sure whether what is happening is fantasy or reality yet you still go on visualizing everything and trying to piece it all together. A dream? reality? a mix of both? That's what Fellini's means to me. It's a classic of cinema and deserves repeat viewings. It is an art film through and through, and one of the most personal statements and visions a director has ever given to us. This film is a landmark of cinema because every time you see it you discover new things about its plotting, background action and the characters that you might not have payed attention to the first time around. This is a must for anybody that claims they know movies. is a dreamy vision from a man that wasn't scared to make us think and get us to to see him naked, with his darkest, deepest secrets laid bare on-screen.

So what else makes this film so remarkable? The fact that every image, every sound and every word is important and integral to the story. People have tried to distinguish what Marcello mightbe dreaming and what he might be living. Chances are the more you see it, the more you uncover its deeply pristine secrets. 8 1/2 is the perfect choice for a shot by shot examinations that Roger Ebert used to give at his film classes. It's also interesting to think of the reaction of bewilderment this film got in the 60s with Pauline Kael calling it a "structural disaster".

Just like Fellini at the time, 8 1/2's film director has creative block and is looking for inspiration through fantasy and the diverse people around him. At the time Fellini was struggling to make his next film, but couldn't come up with anything new to say and so he decided to make a film about his actual struggle to find creative nirvana.  8 1/2 is about a filmmaker that is looking for ideas but can't find them. It's a Charlie Kaufman movie made before Kaufman as even born. A meta-exploration of what it takes to be an artist. This might have, quite possibly, been the first full-on meta movie of the cinema. The film has so much depth and so much going for it that it should get studied in Psychology classes as its depiction of the human mind is nothing short of exhaustive and revolutionary.
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