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(Otto e Mezzo)


Italy-France, 1963


Director: Federico Fellini

Production: Cineriz (Rome) and Francinex (Paris); black and white, 35mm; running time: 135 minutes. Released February 1963, released in the United States on 25 June 1963. Filmed 9 May 1962–14 October 1962, in Titanus-Appia Studios and the Cecchignola military reservation in Rome, and on location in Tivoli, Filacciano, Viterbo, and the beaches between Ostia and Fiumicino.


Producer: Angelo Rizzoli; screenplay: Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, and Brunello Rondi, from a story by Federico Fellini and Ennio Flaiano; assistant directors: Lina Wertmuller and Guidarino Guidi; photography: Gianni di Venanzo; editor: Leo Cattozzo; sound: Mario Faraoni and Alberto Bartolomei; production design (scenery): Piero Gherardi; music: Nino Rota; costume designer: Piero Gherardi; artistic collaboration: Brunello Rondi.

Cast : Marcello Mastroianni (Guido Anselmi); Anouk Aimée (Luisa Anselmi); Sandro Milo (Carla); Claudia Cardinale (Claudia); Rosella Falk (Rosella); Madeleine Lebeau (The actress); Caterina Boratto (The fashionable, unknown woman); Barbara Steele (Gloria Moran); Mario Pisu (Mario Mezzabotta); Guido Alberti (Pace, the producer); Mario Conocchia (Conocchia); Jean Rougeul (Fabrizio Carini, Daumier); Edra Gale (La Saraghina); Ian Dallas (Maurice, the magician); Annibale Ninchi (Guido's father); Giuditta Rissone (Guido's mother); Tito Masini (The Cardinal); Frazier Rippy (The Cardinal's secretary); Georgia Simmons (Guido's grandmother); Palma Mangini (Old peasant relative); Roberta Valli (Little girl at the farmhouse); Riccardo Guglielmi (Guido at the farmhouse); Marco Gemini (Guido as a schoolboy); Yvonne Casadei (Jacqueline onbon); Cesarino Miceli Picardi (Cesarino, the production supervisor); Bruno Agostino (Bruno Agostino, the production director); Olimpia Cavalli (Miss Olympia, as Carla in the screen tests); Maria Antonietta Beluzzi (La Saraghina in some screen tests); Comtesse Elisabetta Cini (The Cardinal in the screen tests); Polidor (One of the clowns in the parade); Mino Doro (Claudia's agent). The entire technical staff participated in the final circus scene.


Awards: Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film, 1963; New York Film Critics Award, Best Foreign Film, 1963; Moscow Film Festival, Grand Prize, 1963.


Publications


Script:

Fava, Claudio G., and Aldo Viganò, The Films of Federico Fellini, translated by Shula Curto, Secaucus, 1985.

Fellini, Federico, and others, , edited by Camilla Cederna, Bologna, 1965; also as (Otto e mezzo), edited by Charles Affron, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1987.

Zaoral, Zdenek, Federico Fellini, Praha, 1989.

Bondanella, Peter, The Cinema of Federico Fellini, Princeton, 1992.

Bondanella, Peter, and Cristina Degli-Esposti, Perspectives on FedericoFellini, New York, 1993.

Burke, Frank, Fellini's Films: From Postwar to Postmodern, New York, 1996.

Books:

Borde, Raymond, and André Bouissy, Nouveau Cinéma italien, Lyons, 1963.

Boyer, Deena, The 200 Days of 8½, New York, 1964.

Budgen, Suzanne, Fellini, London, 1966.

Solmi, Angelo, Fellini, New York, 1968.

Gould Boyum, Joy, and Adrienne Scott, Film as Film: CriticalResponses to Film Art, Boston, 1971.

Covi, Antonio, Dibattiti di film, Padua, 1971.

Kinder, Marsha, and Beverle Houston, Close-Up: A Critical Perspective on Film, New York, 1972.

Benderson, Albert Edward, Critical Approaches to Federico Fellini's, New York, 1974.

Perry, Ted, Filmguide to 8½, Bloomington, Indiana, 1975.

Stubbs, John C., Federico Fellini: A Guide to References andResources, Boston, 1978.

Siska, William Charles, Modernism in the Narrative Cinema: The ArtFilm as a Genre, New York, 1980.

Alpert, Hollis, Fellini: A Life, New York, 1981.

Fruttero, Carlo, and Franco Lucentini, Je te trouve un peu pâle: Récitd'été avec trente fantasmes féminins de Federico Fellini, Paris, 1982.

Costello, Donald P., Fellini's Road, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1983.

Grazzini, Giovanni, editor, Federico Fellini: Intervista sul cinema, Rome, 1983.

Burke, Frank, Federico Fellini: Variety Lights to La Dolce Vita, Boston, 1984.

Chandler, Charlotte, The Ultimate Seduction, New York, 1984.

Fava, Claudio F., and Aldo Vigano, The Films of Federico Fellini, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1985.

Murray, Edward, Fellini the Artist, 2nd edition, New York, 1985.

Kezich, Tullio, Fellini, Milan, 1987.

Baxter, John, Fellini, New York, 1994.

Costantini, Costanzo, editor, Fellini on Fellini, translated by Sohrab Sorooshian, London, 1995.

Gieri, Manuela, Contemporary Italian Filmmaking: Strategies ofSubversion: Pirandello, Fellini, Scola, and the Directors of theNew Generation, Toronto, 1995.

Fellini, Federico, Fellini on Fellini, translated by Isabel Quigley, New York, 1996.


Articles:

Comuzio, Ermanno, "La colonna sonora di Fellini otto e mezzo," in Cineforum (Bergamo), March 1963.

Aristarco, Guido, "Il gattopardo e il telepata," in Cinema Nuovo (Turin), March-April 1963.

Renzi, Renzo, "La mezza eta del socialismo?," in Cinema Nuovo (Turin), March-April 1963.

" Issue" of Bianco e Nero (Rome), April 1963.

Bachmann, Gideon, in Film Journal (Melbourne), April 1963.

Moravia, Alberto, in Cinéma 63 (Paris), April 1963.

Lane, John Francis, "A Case of Artistic Inflation," in Sight andSound (London), Summer 1963.

Crowther, Bosley, in New York Times, 26 June 1963.

"Dizzy Doings on a Set: Making a Movie—," in Life (New York), 19 July 1963.

Alpert, Hollis, "From ½ to 8½." in New York Times Magazine 21 July 1963.

Cinema (Beverly Hills ), August-September 1963.

Fellini, Federico, "Si butto in ginocchio ad abbracchiarmi," in Cinema Nuovo (Turin), September-October 1963.

Zucconi, Mario, "La musica di otto e mezzo," in Filmcritica (Rome), October, 1963.

Hirschman, Jack, in Film Quarterly (Berkeley), Fall 1963.

Holland, Norman, "Fellini's 8½: Holland's 11," in Hudson Review (Nutley, New Jersey), Fall 1963.

Baker, Peter, in Films and Filming (London), October 1963.

Price, James, "8½: A Quest for Ecstacy," in London Magazine, November 1963.

Cohen, Roberta, "A Fresh Interpretation of Fellini's ," in Film (London), Winter 1963.

Estève, M., "Federico Fellini: ," in Etudes Cinématographiques (Paris), Winter 1963.

Macdonald, Dwight, "Fellini's Masterpiece," in Esquire (New York), January 1964.

Gauteur, Claude, "Masini contre Fellini," in Image et Son (Paris), April 1966.

Robinson, W. R., editor, "Fellini: Analyst without Portfolio," in Man and the Movies, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1967

Eason, Patrick, "Notes on Double Structure and the Films of Fellini," in Cinema (Cambridge), March 1969.

Richardson, Robert, "Wastelands: The Breakdown of Order," in Literature and Film, Bloomington, Indiana, 1969.

Linden, George, "Film Forum: Situation, Articulation, Revelation," in Reflections on the Screen, Belmont, California, 1970.

Micha, René, "Le Clair et l'obsur," in L'Arc (Aix-en-Provence), no. 45, 1971.

Pechter, William S., " Times 2," in 24 Times a Second, New York, 1971.

Lefèvre, Raymond, "Fellini," in Image et Son (Paris), January 1971.

Conti, Isabelli, "Fellini (A Jungian Analysis)," in Ikon (Milan), January-March and July-December 1972.

Perry, Ted, "Signifiers in Fellini's ," in Forum Italicum (Rome), March 1972.

Metz, Christian, "Mirror Construction in Fellini's ," in FilmLanguage: A Semiotics of the Cinema, New York, 1974.

Hyman, T., " as an Anatomy of Melancholy," in Sight and Sound (London), Summer 1974.

Bennett, Joseph, "Italian Film: Failure and Emergence," in KenyonReview (New York), Fall 1974.

Greenberg, Harvey, "—The Declensions of Silence," in TheMovies on Your Mind, New York, 1975.

Stubbs, John, "Study Guide to ," in Journal of Aesthetic Education (Urbana, Illinois), April 1975.

Benderson, Albert, "The Pinocchio Motif in Federico Fellini's ," in Film Studies Annual, 1976.

Audibert, Louis, "Le Noir et le blanc du rêve," in Cinématographe (Paris), February 1978.

Branigan, Edward, "Subjectivity under Siege—From Fellini's to Oshima's The Story of a Man Who Left His Will on Film," in Screen (London), Spring 1978.

Willemen, Paul, "Notes on Subjectivity: On Reading Edward Branigan's 'Subjectivity under Siege,"' in Screen (London), Spring 1978.

Telotte, J. P., " and the Evolution of the Neorealist Narrative," in Film Criticism (Edinboro, Pennsylvania), no. 2, 1979.

Audibert, Louis, "Le Miroir et les ombres," in Cinématographe (Paris), October 1979.

Burke, F., "Modes of Narration and Spiritual Development in Fellini's ," in Literature/Film Quarterly (Salisbury, Maryland), vol. 14, no. 3, 1986.

Burke, F., "Fellini: Changing the Subject," in Film Quarterly (Berkeley), no. 1, 1989.

Lubelski, T., "Osiem i pol czyli potrzeba pelni," in Kino (Warsaw), April 1989.

Zaoralova, E., "Federico Fellini: rovnych 70," in Film a Doba (Prague), January 1990.

Durngat, Raymond, "8½," in Monthly Film Bulletin (London), vol. 57, no. 672, January 1990.

Canby, V., "Critic's Notebook: New Look at a Fellini Chef d'Oeuvre," in New York Times, vol. 142, C19, 30 October 1992.

Dean, Peter, "Video: Fellini's 8(One-Half) (Otto e mezzo) Directed by Federico Fellini," in Sight and Sound (London), vol. 3, no. 5, May 1993.

James, C., "Mondo Fellini," in New Yorker, vol. 70, 21 March 1994.

Schickel, R., "Send in the Clowns: An Aspect of Fellini," in FilmComment (New York), vol. 30, September/October 1994.

Telotte, P., "Definitely-Falling-Down: , Falling Down, and the Death of Fantasy," in Journal of Popular Film and Television (Washington, D.C.), vol. 24, no. 1, Spring 1996.

Wolf, Matt, "The Other Half," in Time Out (London), no. 1373, 11 December 1996.

Wolf, Matt, "Nine," in Variety (New York), 23 December/5 January 1996/1997.

Viera, Maria, "An Homage? Not Exactly. We Just Stole the Idea Outright," in Creative Screenwriting (Washington, D.C.), vol. 4, no. 4, Winter 1997.


* * *

Otto e mezzo achieved its rather distinctive appellation as a result of its location within a Fellini canon which up to that point included seven films and two short pieces that the director had contributed to a pair of Italian anthology films. Given this personal linkage with its director and the film's apparent theme—one not unrelated to a case history of male menopause—as well as its numerous biographical parallels to Fellini's own life, it is tempting to regard simply as a self-indulgent though highly creative attempt to fill a void in the director's progression of films. Instead this study of a filmmaker's creative and personal crises is now recognized as a masterpiece, and one of a very small number of cinematic efforts to utter a clear statement on the intricate nature of artistic inspiration.

is a film of cycles in which past, present and future are subtly intertwined in an endless continuum of meaning that exists within the mind of the artist as well as in the aesthetic itself. Utilizing a complex structure of multi-tiered symbolism common to works as diverse as Edmund Spenser's Fairie Queene and Herman Melville's Moby Dick but only rarely accomplished on the screen, the film revolves in a seemingly counter-clockwise direction pivoting on the character of Guido. It is he who imbues it with a different meaning on each level of interpretation. The various symbolic planes merge fully in the film's final scenes when all of the characters (and all that each represents) join hands to form a circle that revolves dizzily backwards until all that remains is Guido as a child, ready to begin the cycle again,

is a trip backward in preparation to go forward. The end of the film is also its beginning. On every level, it is a return of the artist and the aesthetic to the formative wellsprings of the art for the inspiration that will take each into the future. On its most accessible level, the biographical one, it is the story of Guido, a motion picture director not unlike Fellini himself (although most critics are too reverential of the similarities between the two) who has lost his source of inspiration both in his art and in his life. He inevitably turns inward to examine the generative events of his development—his boyhood, the Church, his relationship with his parents, and the women in his life—as well as the nightmares accompanying each. It is only when he symbolically returns to the womb at the end of the film, by crawling under the table at the press conference where he squeezes a revolver to his temple, that he can be reborn. Stating "Clean . . . disinfect," he pulls the trigger. Like an artistic phoenix, he is reborn in his own creative ashes and rises to receive the inspiration that will enable him to create an entirely new kind of film from the experiences of the old.

At this point, a second and more abstract level of meaning begins to become apparent. The film that Guido is ultimately inspired to make is, in fact, the film that we have been watching. Thus, at the end of the biographical cycle, the beginnings of the first aesthetic level emerge. The meaning of the film, on this tier, centers on our witnessing of the creative process—the thoughts, the memories, the incidents by which a new kind of film is born. As a number of scholars, most notably Christian Metz, have suggested, " is the film of being made." This is most obvious in those scenes in which a sound-stage buzzer intrudes on the action, or those in which bright set lights are all too obviously turned on, and in the film's critical final scene where lights, cameras and crews are visible.

The final scene initiates an even more abstract cycle of meaning that becomes a commentary on the aesthetic of Italian film itself. The entire scene unfolds before an enormous monolithic structure of a rocket gantry. In front of this structure, a large crowd mills about and the entire image becomes reflective of similar scenes in the great silent epic Quo Vadis (1912) and Cabiria (1913) which represented Italy's first "golden period" of cinema. During this era, reality manifested itself in the monumental, densely populated and often frenzied forms of the epics, as well as in the grim, suffering people and dirty streets of such forerunners of neorealism as Sperduti nel Buio (1914). This dichotomy is reflected in in the artistic struggles Guido has with his producer who wants him to make an epic, and with himself in his expressed desire to make a film that tells the truth. Fellini merges and internalizes both concepts in to create an epic of the psyche which adequately encompasses the gritty realism of the scenes of Guido's childhood.

On this broad aesthetic level is the journey of Italian film backward to re-establish its roots in the silent period and regain the inspiration to create a new direction for the films to come. What, on the biographical level, had been a re-examination of Guido's childhood, becomes, at this extreme, a history of Italian film returning through neorealism, the white telephone comedies, and even the side show demonstrations to its beginnings. At the end of the film, as workers are dismantling the huge gantry after the press conference, Guido sits in his car with his scriptwriter Carni who discourses on the creative artist. "Any man," says the writer, "who is really worthy to be called an artist should swear to one thing in his creative life— dedication to silence." With the pronunciation of the word "silence," Guido's creative powers surge back and he is ready to begin the film that is .

While this scene is significant on all levels of interpretation, in the broadest sense, it is indicative that Fellini has taken film back to its golden period when experimental approaches to film forms were daring and innovative. He is clearing the stage for a new kind of film represented by , and its successor Juliet of the Spirits, an intertwining of reality and spectacle, but an internal one projecting the mind, imagination and emotions of its director. Although there are various other concerns in reflected in the musings and dialogues of its protagonist, they are generally supportive of the broader aesthetic levels of the film: the artist, the original work, and the tradition of the art itself. On all of these levels, Fellini has succeeded admirably in the creation of a new aesthetic from the materials of the old.

—Stephen L. Hanson

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"8½." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"8½." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/8-12

8½ (Eight and a Half)

8½ (EIGHT AND A HALF)

See8½ (OTTO E MEZZO)

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"8½ (Eight and a Half)." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"8½ (Eight and a Half)." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/8-12-eight-and-half

"8½ (Eight and a Half)." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/8-12-eight-and-half