Italy, 1963, 138 min, 4K DCP, Dir. Federico Fellini, Unrated but not suitable for children, Italian with English subtitles, Janus Films

8 1/2

Encore Wednesday, 7/28

"...the most gorgeous and inventive thing [Fellini] ever did." —Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

In his second collaboration with Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido, a filmmaker suffering from "director's block". Amid artistic and marital difficulties, he has lost interest in his new sci-fi film that includes veiled autobiographical references. He struggles to work half-heartedly with flashbacks and dreams intruding into his reality. Paul Mazursky (Alex in Wonderland), Bob Fosse (All That Jazz) and Woody Allen (Stardust Memories) have added personal footnotes to Fellini's opus. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and a constant presence on prestigious compilations of the greatest films of all time, a sampling of accolades suffice to guarantee its pedigree. "It's Fellini's last black-and-white picture," wrote Jonathan Rosenbaum, "and conceivably the most gorgeous and inventive thing he ever did." Echoed Stanley Kauffmann: "In terms of execution I cannot remember a more brilliant film." Village Voice's J. Hoberman weighed in: "The ensuing decades have brought forth a deluge of bogus masterpieces, and Fellini's, by comparison, holds up rather well." But Roger Ebert said it best: "8 1/2 is the best film ever made about filmmaking."

2020 marked the centennial of one of the world’s greatest filmmakers. Federico Fellini left an indelible mark in the industry starting with The White Sheik in 1952, ushering Alberto Sordi, Giulietta Masina and Marcello Mastroianni to international stardom and shaping the medium to be his own inimitable mindscape at Italy’s fabled Cinecittà studios. The celebration of this occasion was delayed but throughout 2021, Gables Cinema will once again bring you his newly restored classics as they were meant to be seen. Sit back and let the imaginative maestro enthrall you all year long.

Check out the rest of our Fellini 100 program!