Tuesday, September 27, 2011

8 ½ in Eight Words

I was originally planning to write about my experiences watching Federico Fellini’s cinematic masterpiece 8 ½ in a regular review. The more I thought about it, I realized that writing about eight specific points that stood out would be more fitting as this film has been analyzed to death. Then my lovely wife suggested that I sum up the film in eight simple words. I told her that it was impossible to sum up a film like in only eight words, but the look on her face clearly implied that the challenge had been laid down. So below is my feeble attempt to sum up my thoughts on 8 ½ in just eight words:

Visually striking dreamlike exploration of memory and film

8 ½ is part of our "The Must See List" series.


  1. 8 1/2 in 8 words:

    One of Fellini's Enduring and Masterfully-Made Films.

    I hope I summed it up quite well.

  2. @thevoid - Nicely done. I think you summed it up perfectly.

  3. I like how you described how your wife had laid down the challenge and fully expected you to then take it on (in a "it's not like you have any choice" way). Let's just say that you and I understand each other...B-)

    As for 8 1/2 (a favourite):

    "Searching for artistic inspiration via women and whips."

  4. Unless you're going to write an essay, I think this is maybe the best way to review classic films. I hate reviews of important works that have been analyzed to death from people who just want to write reviews. Some movies are just beyond reviewing and deserve more (not to say that you wouldn't have given it more).

  5. Shouldn't you have gotten 8 1/2 words to do the review?

    "Unlikeable lead character spoils movie watching experience. Skip [it]."

    I'm in the minority on this. The lead character was too unlikable for me and I wanted to spend as little time with him as possible. Knowing that he was an analogue for Fellini himself made it even worse.

    I much prefer Nights of Cabiria among the Fellini movies I have seen.

  6. @Bob – It was one of those “man up” situations that every husband must encounter once and a while. LOL

    @Mike – I will admit that my wife’s challenge forced me to be far more creative than originally anticipated. If the film had not been part of the “must see list” I probably would not have written anything at all. 8 ½ is one of those films that I have actually find more pleasure conversing about face to face; rather than struggling to get my thoughts down on paper. Regardless I am glad I finally got around to seeing the film.

    @Chip Lary – The logistics of the ½ a word part is what stopped me from attempting it.

    I completely agree that Guido is an unlikable character, I really did not care that much for him at all. However I loved everything going on around, and inside, Guido. It is the journey that he takes to self-discover that is truly fascinating for me. I also loved a lot of the technical aspects to the film. 8 1/2 was my first experience with Fellini so I will have to seek out his other works such as Nights of Cabiria.

  7. If you don't fall in love with Cabiria (and by extension Giulietta Masina), you're dead to me. Dead I say.

    It's really after 8 1/2 that his films really start becoming "Fellini-esque".


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