30 April 2007

87. 8 1/2

guido is in the middle of a crack-up, and so he falls into the realm of the familiar, the comfortable. see him retreat from a traffic jam by flying over cars, or out from under the watchful eye of his wife by imagining himself holding court over a harem that revolves around his desires, and draws him a bath.

this movie is about pressure, about all the responsibilites a powerful -- and famous -- man must juggle, both personally and professionally, and how the easiest and most human response (especially for someone inherently creative) is to retreat. in particular, of course, this movie is about movies, and fellini's bittersweet feelings about what they mean to him. he loves how his movies are an extension of his imagination, but fuck if it isn't a hassle to make those dreams a reality due to all the practical constraints: producers meddling, intellectual writers, actors always asking "what's my role?"

in the end, though, fellini's feeling about movies are shown in the last few shots, in a brilliant metaphor: making a movie is like bringing a myriad collection of people together, holding hands, and dancing in a circle until it's over.