8.5 (Criterion Collection)

Directed By: Federico Fellini Starring: Marcello Mastroianni

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Product Overview

One of the greatest films about film ever made, Frederico Fellini's 8 1/2 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 Beatiful 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 a rarely seen film Fellini made for television in 1969, Fellini: A Director's Notebook. This "notebook" of ideas, sketches, and unfinished projects provides a fascinating window on Fellini's creative process. Also, Nino Rota: Between Cinema And Concert gives a compelling portrait of the understated maestro behind the music of Fellini's films.


Studio Criterion Collection
SKU 40160594
UPC 037429135624
UPC 14 00037429135624
Format DVD
Release Date 12/4/2001
Essential Cinema
Fantasy Worlds
Film About Film
Self Analysis
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Federico Fellini's Oscar-nominated 8 1/2 is a masterpiece of storytelling and cinema. The most autobiographical of Fellini's films, the plot of which concerns a 43-year-old film director who is having a midlife crisis, it is a career benchmark for this magnificent Italian New Wave director. Beautifully choreographed with flashbacks, dream sequences, exaggerated fantasy scenes, and magical surrealist episodes, 8 1/2 is one of the richest, most exuberant movies ever made, in the mode of Fellini's artfully abstract LA DOLCE VITA and AMARCORD.^Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) is at a crisis point in his life and his work; in the opening sequence, Guido, suffocating, is caught in traffic with the windows of his car locked shut. He climbs out of the sunroof and literally rises up over the highway into the clouds, seemingly free, when he realizes there's a rope tied around his ankle that is violently pulling him back to earth. Cutting from this dream to the health spa where Guido is trying to recapture his creativity and write the screenplay for his next film, his vices become clear: Guido is self-absorbed, and he's distracted by the fabulous cast of actresses, intellectuals, and eccentrics who have joined him at the spa. Additionally he struggles with Freudian complexes about his wife (Anouk Aimée), his lover (Sandro Milo), his ideal woman (Claudia Cardinale), and his dead parents; and his repressive Catholic guilt follows him everywhere like a haunting mist.
Plot Summary
Summary A fascinating, surreal view of a filmmaker's efforts to develop a new project, 8 1/2|stars Fellini regular Marcello Mastroianni in this semiautobiographical piece about a movie director's midlife crisis. Replete with fabulous performances and signature Fellini visual touches, it stars Anouk Aimée, Sandro Milo, and Claudia Cardinale. 8 1/2 is a touching, hilarious, and meditative viewing experience.
Chicago Sun-Times "...8 1/2 is the best film ever made about filmmaking....The film weaves in and out of reality and fantasy....It is a film filled to bursting with inspiration..." 05/28/2000 p.5
USA Today "...The most famous screen treatise ever about the illogical undertaking of making a movie..." 12/28/2001 p.5D
Entertainment Weekly "...The greatest mind-game movie ever..." 01/11/2002 p.32
Premiere "...[T]he ideas and texture of 8 1/2 have never ceased to be an inspiration to artists everywhere..." 12/01/2003 p.10
Empire "[T]he film teems with Jungian imagery, while grappling with the alienating effects of modernity and, overall, the exasperating quest for contentment in an arbitrary and uncertain world." 02/01/2009
Los Angeles Times "[T]his film retains an ability to enthrall and delight that has not diminished over the years." 04/23/2010
Federico Fellini
Marcello Mastroianni
Cast & Crew
Anouk Aimee - Actor
Claudia Cardinale - Actor
Marcello Mastroianni - Actor
Sandra Milo - Actor
Frederico Fellini - Director
Gianni di Venanzo - Director of Photography
Leo Ferre - Musical Score
Nino Rota - Musical Score
Angelo Rizzoli - Producer
Frederico Fellini, et al. - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1963
Catalog ID 020
UPC 00037429135624
Number of Discs 2
Running Time 138 minutes
Color B&W
Original Language Italian
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks Italian
Oscar (1964) Frederico Fellini, Nominee, Best Director,Frederico Fellini, et al., Nominee, Best Writing, Story And Screenplay Written Directly For The Screen
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Thirty years after Fellini made 8 1/2, films like this have grown rare... The self-indulgence and utter self-absorption of Fellini, two of the film's charms, would be vetoed by modern financial backers... A movie like this is like a splash of cold water in the face, a reminder that the movies really can shake us up... Ironic, that Fellini's film about artistic bankruptcy seems richer in invention that almost anything else around.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
ReviewSource Washington Post
Review Never again was Fellini as successful as he was here in his use of film as a theater for soul-searching.... Has there ever been a filmmaker who got more pleasure out of hating his weaknesses than Fellini? Or displayed them with greater pride and verve?
Reviewer Hal Hinson
ReviewRating 10
DVD, Black & White
Product Attributes
Actor Fellini,Federico
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide Certainly one of the most intensely personal statements ever made on celluloid.

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