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8 1/2

8 1/2

Dir. Federico Fellini
138 min

Introduction by Artistic Director Tommaso Cammarano

About the film

Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi (Fellini’s alter ego), the most stylish and cool director you will ever meet, whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life, as he struggles against creative block and helplessly juggles the women in his life - including Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk, and Claudia Cardinale. Overwhelmed and at a loss, Guido retreats into his thoughts, which often focus on his loves, both past and present, and frequently wander into fantastical territory. As he tries to sort out his many entanglements, Anselmi finds his production becoming more and more autobiographical.

Marcello Mastroianni

2024 marks Marcello Mastroianni’s 100th birth anniversary. His role of Guido, Fellini’s alter-ego in 8½, is one of the most legendary in the history of Cinema. Fellini aside, Mastroianni worked with every major Italian director such as Luchino Visconti (Le Notti Bianche), Michelangelo Antonioni (La Notte), Mario Monicelli (The Organizer), Pietro Germi (Divorzio All’Italiana), Ettore Scola (Una Giornata Particolare). To this day, Mastroianni embodies the soul of Italian Cinema, with his incredible versatility, his suave good looks, his worldly sophistication and elegance.

Happy Birthday, Marcello!


Federico Fellini (Rimini, 1920 – Rome 1993) is recognized as one of the greatest directors and most influential filmmakers of all time. Influenced early in his career by the Neorealist movement, he developed his own distinctive methods, that superimposed dream-like or hallucinatory imagery upon ordinary situations. In 1944, Fellini met director Roberto Rossellini, and became one of a team of writers for Roma, Città Aperta (1945; Rome, Open City), a pioneer film of Neorealism, and his contribution to the screenplay earned him his first Oscar nomination. Fellini was nominated for 16 Academy Awards over the course of his career, winning a total of four in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. He won the Palme d'Or in Cannes for La dolce vita in 1960, and he received an honorary Lifetime Achievement Award at the 65th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, and also, the Career Golden Lion at the 42nd Venice International Film Festival in 1985.

Legacy of 8 ½

“I have seen "8 1/2" over and over again, and my appreciation only deepens. It does what is almost impossible: Fellini is a magician who discusses, reveals, explains and deconstructs his tricks, while still fooling us with them. He claims he doesn't know what he wants or how to achieve it, and the film proves he knows exactly, and rejoices in his knowledge”. – Roger Ebert

"For me and so many filmmakers, being introduced to European filmmaking was the great awaking. It didn't all have to be Doris Day and Rock Hudson doing things. You could fall into different worlds. I think that's why Fellini became cool. Hollywood at the time was churning out these very happy, safe, comfortable films and the Europeans were opening up all these nightmares and suddenly narrative was less important; it was more the mood and style, and they're really the heartland of cool!" – Terry Gilliam

“Fellini’s absolute visual mastery began in 1963 with 8½, in which the camera hovers and floats and soars between inner and outer realities, tuned to the shifting moods and secret thoughts of Fellini’s alter ego, Guido, played by Marcello Mastroianni. I watch passages in that picture, which I’ve gone back to more times than I can count, and still find myself wondering: How did he do it? How is it that each movement and gesture and gust of wind seems to fall perfectly into place? How is it that it all feels uncanny and inevitable, as in a dream? How could every moment be so rich with inexplicable longing? redefined my idea of what cinema was—what it could do and where it could take you. Fellini showed all of us what it was to be an artist, the overpowering need to create art. 81/2 is the purest expression of love for the cinema that I know of “ – Martin Scorsese


Film Details

Program: Italian Film Festival
Release Year: 1963
Runtime: 138 min
Country/Region: Italy, France
Language: Italian
Print Source: Janus Films
Tags: Dramedy


Director: Federico Fellini
Producer: Angelo Rizzoli
Cinematographer: Gianni Di Venanzo
Screenwriter: Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Brunello Rondi
Editor: Leo Catozzo
Composer: Nino Rota
Principal Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo