You should know right here that Fellini’s 8 1/2 is one of my favorite films–I’d like to say it’s my favorite, but I may be forgetting something obvious. But I can’t really think of any film that fills me with such joy every time I see it. It’s a film just bursting at the seams with life, with beautiful women particularly, with wit and love and acceptance. Marcello Mastoianni’s character Guido comes to learn all these things in the end, but in the film itself it’s there from the beginning. (One critic writes how the early scenes in the spa portray the delusional bourgeousie, represented by the old warhorses of Wagner and Rossini on the soundtrack, but Fellini, being a cartoonist before he was a director, gives us all these wonderful faces passing by the screen (as opposed to faceless extras). S’Wonderful.
Anyway, this being the second time I’ve seen it on the big screen, I have to say that the print was dreadful, and not the re-released version that I saw in San Diego a few years ago. The new print had new subtitles–these old ones are awful, and only translate 50% of the soundtrack. You think the fest could have hunted the better one down. (The ones for the Sirk film were also crap). Still, it was a wonderful thing to behold.
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