Wot's it abaught?
- 8½ review by IM
Well, it's sumptuously beautiful to look at - and it's in BLACK and WHITE, for goodness sake! Lots of light and shade. The main man is a film auteur like Fellini, trying to start on his next project.
It's very middle class, "glamourous" and very Italian. Everyone who is anyone wears Armmani or some haute couture get up. Men have "mistresses", whatever that was about, so Guido's got his Harvey Weinstein side but he's too nice to appear to take advantage. His wife is strong enough to at least make him feel bad about spending time with Claudia Cardinale and then having the cheek to invite her out to join him on the set! The women confronting each other when sitting at nearby tables in a cafe outside is vey amusing. Squirm, Guido, squirm!
Lots of the characters are women, past and present in Guido's life. There are also a few intellectuals holding forth, such as you'd never see in movie today (too highbrow)! I found the most moving scene early in the movie, with his late mum and dad. You can tell Guido asks his buttoned up, suited-and-booted pa things he never said when his dad was living. They have a chat, and then the old man goes back down into his grave. Some of the memories are of Guido's schooldays in a catholic boys school. A wild woman on the beach gives the kids a thrilling scary show and then the priests tell the boys off. At the end it's music that triumphs. There's a kind of parade of the characters in Guido's life led by some musicians (including a very confident boy flautist!) who lead them all laughing around the set in a sort of dance hall number by the musical chameleon Nino Rota. Maybe it's abaught how an artist gets and develops the ideas for a work of art?
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