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May 27, 2008

8 and 1/2

This is my first exposure to famed Italian director Fellini's work. The film is not a conventional story by any means. It's really a semi-autobiographical meditation on filmmaking, and any artistic endeavor. The basic story is that a famous director wants to make a completely honest, ground-breaking film. The film itself is surreal as he works through his issues with self-deception, religion, women, his relationships, his mother, the devil and his wife.

The film is interesting to look at on a purely ascetic level - it's great to look at. But I was only so-so on it until the very end, which saved it for me and made me like it very much. In the end, the director decides to give up film-making all together, he's so full of falseness and pretension, he decides.

But then (through a discussion with a very critical film critic who supports this decision, supports any time artists decide to stop creating) the director realizes that all artistic achievement relies on the "conceit to believe that others may find something of value in our personal catalog of failures." That our imperfect works of art, as flawed as they may be, are better than no art at all.

In the end, it won me over.

3 out of 4.

Posted by jason on May 27, 2008 04:30 AM


What would be perfect art, anyway? And if everything was just perfect (once we established what that means) all the time, I think things could get real boring real fast around here.

Posted by: jessica on May 28, 2008 04:40 AM

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