An old trick to beating writers block they teach you in creative writing class is to write down everything that comes to mind. The idea is that, eventually, youll have something to go on and voilà, no more block. But what usually happens is you fill a page with how you dont have anything to write about, give up and go make a sandwich. Frederico Fellinis 8 ½ is the film equivalent of that experience. The film loosely tells the story of its own making, with Marcello Mastroianni standing in for Fellini as a popular Italian director slowly being crushed by his frustration over art and women. As deadlines encroach, Mastroianni retreats more and more into his dreams and memories, unwilling or unable to cope with the reality that awaits him. The result is an incredibly dense masterpiece of a film and maybe even a sense of catharsis.
Jan. 2-4, 2010