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The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Sunday, January 16, 2000
8-1/2
Federico Fellini Italy, 1963

(Otto e mezzo). "This is Fellini's masterpiece, and arguably one of the two or three greatest films ever made. It brought an entirely new dimension to the cinema: no fiction film had ever used dream and fantasy images for a serious examination of the psyche in so smooth, seamless, and uncontrived a way. The events in 8-1/2 are galvanized and made profound by startling representations [whose] sudden and unmarked entrance into the film becomes positively essential to a depiction of the crucial moments in the life of [an] artist who, despite his confusion and uncertainty, is making a supremely honest effort to understand himself and the springs of his creativity." (Seymour Chatman) Mastroianni told a journalist in 1965, "I did those two Fellini films [La Dolce Vita and 8-1/2] not as an actor but as a man...to realize myself through them. They are the best mirror of my real self. It's not that I play myself, actually, but rather more that I am looking for myself in the roles."

• Written by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Brunello Rondi. Photographed by Gianni Di Venanzo. With Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo. (138 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, Permission Kino International)