Fellini in Wonderland.
memento_mori - wrote on 11/24/13
Already halfway through 8 1/2, I was taken aback by its absolute genius. I loved the costume design, the cinematography, the dream exhibitions and the wonderful colors… Then I realized the film was in black and white.
And it's because I said that to myself, that I know this film is wonderful in every regard.
It leaps out at you in an ultra-expressionistic manner and takes you into a queer, little world in the mind of a man plagued by writer's block and a creative illness otherwise unknown.
The film begins astonishingly, with a man attempting and succeeding in escaping his fume-filled car during his wait among other vehicles on a boat. This so perfectly sets the tone of escape and redemption for the rest of the film.
The way shots, sound, light and actions are synchronized in perfect combination is a highpoint every film buff will notice and appreciate. And I mean that. I don't think a single shot in this film wasn't thought out before shooting, that is how meaningful every scenario becomes.
The lighting is some of the best I've ever seen in a movie, almost shoving things out at us, emphasizing what needs to be said and done.
But, with excessive creativity comes also critique.
Judging a film like 8 1/2 is most likely the hardest type of film to judge, because there is no present formula. In a way, this is good, because it allows the non-linear narrative to take its course and explore all the opportunities, but without some kind of reminder that we aren't in a dream or reality or a flashback or somewhere in-between it can get very confusing. For me, this was not a great problem at all, I enjoyed every abstract minute of the film, it just doesn't come as a film you can watch without thinking about it.
What a realization this film is.
From its opening to its closing this film is nothing short than spectacular in every regard of cinematic achievement. The unique, dark, almost satirical style of direction adds a touch to a harried story that I have never seen before, that is why it succeeds in being one of the most relevant, crazy and beautiful films ever to be lensed.