8½ (1963)

I’m embarrassed to say that this is the first Fellini film that I’ve ever watched. I purchased the two-disc Criterion Collection release of 8½ quite some time ago and finally got around to watching it. I wasn’t disappointed.

I’m continually amazed at how often today’s filmmakers borrow, copy, pay homage to the likes of Fellini, Truffault, Godard and others. Director Terry Gilliam provides an introduction to the film on the Criterion Collection DVD.

Gilliam explains how important 8½ is to him and how it has influenced his films. This is most obvious in Brazil (1985) where several scenes borrow heavily from 8½.

Quentin Tarantino is another director that borrows heavily from the great directors before him. The famous dance scene in Pulp Fiction between Uma Thurman and John Travolta is lifted out of 8½.

This month in WIRED magazine, there is an article called QT: King of Thieves. It examines five scenes that Tarantino lifted from other films.

Back to 8½. I enjoyed the film and will definitely watch it again. And again. The two-disc set from Criterion is impressive. The video is presented in anamorphic widescreen and beautifully restored—looks as good as a movie that was shot in the last 5 years. An audio commentary, a couple of documentaries, some essays and more round are part of the extra features.

Posted in DVD Reviews at 10:03 AM