be warned, i’m about to go very film geek on you. 8 1/2 is considered by many to be federico fellini’s best film. this is the second film of fellini’s that i’ve watched, the first being la strada which i somewhat struggle to find positive feedback for. 8 1/2, however, revolves around an italian film director in pre-production of his latest movie in which even he isn’t sure of what it’s about. it’s somewhat fantasy, flashing back and forth between his childhood memories and current dreams and how disillusioned he is when it comes to the subject of love, seeing how (at least in his mind) every woman throws herself at him.
overall, i found the film to be so-so. a bit confusing, weird, and slow pacing at times… however this film has earned a very special place in my heart (and probably soon on my dvd shelf.) why????
one word. lighting.
in film school we took classes on lighting and there are so many rules about it that you’d have a hard time remembering all of them. but somehow fellini seems to get it just right in this film. there’s contrast where there needs to be contrast, softness where there needs to be softness, highlighting of the eyes when he’s thinking, and that perfect triangle of light under the eye that only film students really understand, but is the highest achievement of shaping a person’s face and giving them depth (rarely seen in comedy)
in these next few shots, please pay attention to simply just the lighting.
such a small cream of the crop here. i highly suggest to rent this film, put on a great album, and just study the lighting. it’s inspiring with every frame.