Saturday, May 28, 2011

8½ (Federico Fellini, 1964)

*****
Italy
What separates Fellini's self-analysis from the plethora of rip-offs it spawned (all of which inevitably and very quickly slip into the land of wankery, never to emerge) is his generous, all-encompassing spirit. He lets you in on his private jokes and hang-ups. He doesn't look to assert his genius or delineate a status above yours. Organic, spontaneous and with an intoxicating sense of longing, his dreams speak at the level of your dreams. Few - if any - other filmmakers have mastered their craft to such a level that they've been able to capture something as vague, as mysterious and overwhelming as one's own dreamlife with such sensitivity, such intimacy and openness that, rather than a stranger's autobiography, you feel you are tuning into a raw, unfiltered materialisation of another person's rich and fabulous headspace.

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