Friday, March 9, 2012

Movies 101 - 8 1/2

- 138min – No rating

This is a movie about a director who is trying to find the next big idea. He is finished with one successful film and is feeling the pressure to continue the success in this next picture. He has no idea what the movie is going to be about but has to deal with people hammering him for information. As a way to escape the pressures of work, his relationships and his life he slips into memoires and fantasies. It is hard to be brilliant on command, inspiration comes when it comes. This movie shows us a side of creating art that people sometimes forget.

I like films about people who make movies. I have worked on films and directed short films so I can relate to the pressures of being brilliant again in this movie. I tried to watch this was I was younger and I did not get it at all. Seeing it at this time in my life I have a new appreciation for it. Like the character I find myself escaping into my mind during the boring aspects of my own life. I remember several companywide meetings where I was off on another planet sliding down a hand rail with a phaser in each hand defending the cat people from the lizard man invasion. I am more of a geek than this character was.

Federico Fellini started out in a neorealist style of storytelling and 8 ½ is the film that started defining the hyperbolic “Fellini” signature of surrealism. The title of the film represents the number of films he has worked on at the time of this production. This movie is his 8th and half production. (You apparently get a half credit by co directing a film)

My take away:

The Fellini style is now clearer to me, I understood it from context but I have never experienced it. Walking through a story and mixing real life with what is going on in a characters head can be hard to follow but it allows you to see what the character is feeling and thinking about. A reviewer said that this story is almost too intimate because it shows us what is going on in the film makers head.

I watched this film on NetFlix watch it now.

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