The 1963 film directed by Federico Fellini is a Italian comedy-drama centred around the main character Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) a famous directer who is suffering from a lack of inspiration within his ideas losing any passion he had whilst making his films; the film also like bird man includes the surreal mix of creating fantasies that are confused into Guido’s reality. The entire film like Inception leaves the audiences questioning whether Guido’s character was in reality or in a dream.
The film is considered as one of Fellini’s best works winning 18 awards including the best foreign language film oscar; For the films costuming also won the academy award.The film’s title is in reference to Fellini’s eight and a half film he’s had worked on as a director; in fact the entire film has huge referencing to Fellini himself with his working styles portrayed by Anselmi who portrays a character who finds the work as a director to be extremely difficult in creative processes and the pressure of film directing with the high demand from both audience and co-worker extremely strenuous.
The beginning of the film is actually a nightmare the main character is having about asphyxiation; the entire scene is extremely memorable with a shot of Guido floating off towards the sky only to heaved back to the earth by the people he associates with as a director. This is a clear reference to the ending of the film and is what to come from the film. The film is entirely based around and from the director characters point of view and how work and lifestyle just aren’t cutting it for him anymore. Other characters in feature that are interesting are Guido’s wife “Luisa” who is seen as chic and intellectual but the connection between husband and wife seems banished through lack of communication. Guido’s mistress “Carla” is the complete opposite to the wife but gives Guido the womanising pleasures he has; in fact the character of Guido is extremely lustful with fantasying and sexual encounters in the film. There are many problems in Guido’s life from his problems with he work and lack of any creative thoughts to his troubled relationships all seems to be slowly falling apart. Guido humorously even accidentally has both his mistress and wife stay at the Spa which is a main feature in the film at the same time; disaster.
The favourite aspect of this for me is the clever use of camera angles and meaningful light. Fellini’s use of space on set is also really interesting he uses a technique that focus’s on a moving group of people against the foreground that will casually walk in and out of the framing. The foreground itself is also interesting for its shots as Fellini uses objects against it to block the background this makes the scene more effective it its running as it can disguise the locations and be manipulated instead of finding a new location. The use of a master shot is also used within the film with the character walking up to the camera in a process of a invitation in the dancing scene with the character actually smiling toward the camera before connecting with her partner and dancing in the frame. The entire scene is close up and busy full of sexual tension; Its interesting to watch because the beginning of the scene is “old fashioned” and relaxed that becomes faster in beat. The actually reminds me strongly of Pulp Fiction with Uma Therman and John Travolta’s dance scene in the diner the hair especially and care free attitudes both scenes have; especially with the woman taking the lead.
For me I found this film to be extremely interesting and will take inspiration from the clever and artist use of camera angles. The subtitles also weren’t an issue as I enjoy watching foreign cinema anyway.