Monday, 14 March 2011

8½ Pt. 2... and a half.

Image via wikipedia
Since the last lot of reviews for Fellini's masterpiece  went down so well - I mean I didn't expect that Pulitzer for a start - I thought I'd write a sequel (I'm actually writing this before the first was posted, I'm hoping I can create some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy...). Here it is. Let's get stuck in with some reviews from that hive of well-source and reasoned reviews, Lovefilm:
I'm a very happily married man (What do you want? A fucking medal?) but if I was single and the most beautiful girl in the world walked into the room, I guess, in a moment of weakness, I would regale her with how wonderful Fellini's awe-inspiring masterpiece is (I'm curious as to where this is going...).Attempting to woo her further I would then continue to bore her rigid with how this man saved my life, set foot on the moon before Armstrong and was instrumental in the fall of communism (But those are just barefaced lies. Why would the girl in question be impressed? And if she is impressed then you're lying to this girl so she will sleep with you. You complete and utter bastard. You're practically a rapist, you are.).
I would hope then she would call me a pretentious buffoon and advise me to watch less ridiculous films and concentrate more on substance not style (But you could use this analogy with anything. If you said exactly the same things about Transformers then I imagine the result would be much the same. I could tell this story with 8½ replaced with anything and I'm willing to bet that I'd still be crying myself to sleep, alone in the bed that night. What a fatuous point to make.).
This review is being typed in my sleep after watching a Joan Fontaine film (I imagine that you think this makes you "edgy" and "cool". It doesn't. It makes you look like a brainless twerp who doesn't know anything.)
Here we go again:
Sorry but this was a real disappointment (I can imagine it would be if you imagined that the disc became you're own gentleman's personal gentleman after the film had finished...). Having grown up with this & other Fellini works being hailed as cinema at its best (Well, they are certainly up there with what the medium has to offer) this was too self indulgant self-indulgent and dated for me (It's not that self-indulgent, it's not like it's actually about Fellini, he and Anselmi have parallels but that is all. And how is it dated? It just looks like anything else set in the 60s). The worst aspects were the embarrassig lip synching, irrespective of sub-titles. (This was just how Italian cinema worked. I imagine it was cheaper than buying expensive boom mikes and the like, but it's not that intrusive. If anything it just blurs the lines between dream and reality still further, which seems to be one of the themes of the film)
Don't bother unless you want to tick having watched a so called (You and every one else who use this phrase or "supposed" can all just take a flying fuck off a cliff.) classic and just wanting to have an opinion (In your case, a stupid opinion.)
And again...:
I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is a bad film (But what other possible reason could you have for giving it 1 star?), but I’d certainly say its appeal would be limited to a very small audience (Yes, I suppose the intelligent are outnumbered by the idiots. What other explanation could there be for Michael Bay's continued success?). Those who like art house pictures will find this self-indulgent (See above) romp a delight, however the flipside is that those who don’t would probably sooner do themselves serious self harm than watch all two hours of ‘8 ½’. (Really? You'd recommend cutting yourself over watching this? That seems a bit stupid and risky to me...)
Personally, I found the showy manner in which the film was shot rather tiresome after a while (I imagine I'm going to find your arrogant views and "for the people" grandstanding to be tiresome very soon...) and would have preferred Fellini to prove his abilities as a film-maker in a fuller sense – e.g. by making more than a cursory attempt of entertaining the audience, rather than somewhat arrogantly assuming that such things were below him (He does entertain. For example the extended Harem sequences is rather amusing...) (after all, it is a skill in itself (Well, if Fellini was anything it certainly wasn't skilled that's for certain. It's not like fellow directors feel that he is second only to Orson Welles or anything...)).
In particular, his reputation for intelligent filmmaking was nowhere evident in the script – for all its ‘artifice’ it remains the one unambiguous thing about the film since he is quite incapable of subtle, nuanced self-analysis (The script is as nuanced as it wants/needs to be you pretentious, obnoxious prig.). This will sorely disappoint those who remember Fellini’s intelligent plotting and his ability to both shock and delight with equal ease in La Dolce Vita (There isn't much shock to be had here, but the rest is all present and correct).
It is (of course) beautifully/pretentiously (That's a bit rich coming from you, don't you think?) shot, incomprehensibly scripted (I understood it perfectly easily. Maybe you're just a bit thick?) and, to a great extent, plotless (It has a plot: man tries to make film, has writer's block, remembers things about his past. There, that's very basic idea of the plot right there). However, to criticise it on these counts would be unfair – these are not Fellini’s criteria (How how generous of you. I'm sure Fellini would have been so delighted that you've said that). The pleasure of the film is in appreciating the cinematography and the references to Fellini’s work, not in the film itself. (Or, alternatively, it is also in the film itself.)
Where do lovefilm find these guys? But here's a couple from
It's really quite amusing reading all of the fawning encomia to this pretentious piece of garbage (Don't you see the irony of complaining about a film being "pretentious" when just three words prior you used the phrase "fawning encomia"? Because I do. That's what I find amusing... As a result I shall point out every time you are needlessly pretentious in this review). Because this film's reputation is based on a top-down critical diktat (Pretentious) rather than on inherent quality, most of these reviews either cite some sort of authority (Roger Ebert, the Academy Awards, some frou frou (Exceedingly pretentious) list of the greatest "films" of "cinema") to justify their adulation, or they seem to be quoting accolades and analysis from some film-history textbook(Doesn't it seem just as likely that these people, rather than trying to trick you into watching bad films, actually think it's really good. And, furthermore, that it's you who is wrong and, seemingly, very paranoid? Oh, and what are the speech marks around films and cinema for? Are these words used by "the man" to keep you and your fellows down?). The sheep can't bleat their loyalty to received judgement fast enough (That phrase was pretty pretentious). After two viewings, I have found nothing of value in 8 1/2 (Nothing? At all? Not the beautiful camerawork? Acting? Nothing? Were you watching with your eyes closed?). This movie consists of glamourous Italians going here and there talking about_nothing_, with occasional surrealistic hallucinations interspersed (Pretentious. And quite a bit happens actually. Much of it in dreams and flashbacks that become increasingly integral to the plot). This entire movie is a cheap trick, and that will be acknowledged in a more honest era (I see you're still in the K. DIck-ian area of paranoid delusions then...). In the meantime, it is our duty, like the little child, to proclaim very loudly that the Emperor is naked! (Pretentious) I give this movie negative 8 1/2 stars. (Oh how droll...)
And we'll finish with this one, whoever said that reviews had to be long to be well argued?:
Without a doubt, the most pretentious, self-indulgent mess of a movie I've ever seen. The high praise showered on this film baffles me. (I imagine it would do. Clearly you've been brought up on a diet of only Orson Welles, Francis Ford Coppola, Akira Kurosawa and Jean Renoir. That or a cinema diet of Michael Bay, Sylvester Stallone, Paul W.S. Anderson and Brett Ratner. I believe I'm leaning towards the latter...)
 Well that's it for the reviews of 8½, I do hope you've enjoyed them... I know I didn't.

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