Author Topic: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)  (Read 9399 times)

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #90 on: September 04, 2013, 03:05:05 PM »

Duck Soup
Leo McCarey, 1933


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...the film is not much more than a loose collection of slapstick routines and countless puns, and it's utterly brilliant.

I don't really like Groucho that much, but I looooooooooove Harpo. So, I was really hating this movie until he and Chico showed up. There are a lot of funny scenes like the one with the hats and the mirror one (funniest thing ever). Again, it's all Harpo. Then the last 20 or so minutes happen and the movie embraces chaos and it's one of the funniest things ever. Again, it's all Harpo (that Paul Revere thing made me lol). It just tosses aside any semblance of structure and just tosses a million jokes at you, and I was happy. I felt happy. So, Harpo. What a guy!

Yeah, I get it, Duck Soup is considered as having been foundational to things that would follow, but ultimately it is the lowest of low-brow type of humor on par with stuff we would completely pan in its modern form. I'm just not fond of evaluating a movie based on its impact/influence rather than its quality, and Duck Soup simply isn't funny. It baffles me that Duck Soup makes top film/top comedy lists while a modern film like In The Loop, which while well regarded does not get praise of that level, is massively smarter and funnier. But I digress. ... Oh, and Duck Soup is really misogynistic. Half the jokes are basically insulting women as fat, unattractive or without honor; and because the characters aren't really developed, the women who are the butt of these jokes stand in for all women.

Existential crisis got you down? Try Duck Soup. Itís a hoot.

I hated Harpo and his humor He's just cutting things with scissors and knocking things out of people's hands. He's not funny he's a douche. The others were less annoying but still had their annoying moments. The one section that I genuinely enjoyed was the entire doppelganger section up to and including the mirror scene. I also enjoyed the few songs that were sung.
The Marx Bros. type of humor just doesn't do it for me I guess.

It's badly framed, flatly lit, sounds bad and can be a wild drinking game by making others take a sip whenever you spot a continuity flaw.  (It's pretty much every shot.)  That's the film's downside.  The good news is Duck Soup is so funny, you'll forgive its faults.  The script doesn't juggle logic so much as help it to defy gravity.  It's ridiculous, a symphony of silly composed in gagtime.  I've seen all the Marx Brothers films and A Night at the Opera is their most professional, but this is their best.  Perfectly balancing the word games with visual humor, everybody works their speciality but they also invade each other's territory.

Probably the saddest phenomena in being a film fanatic is falling out of love with a once-cherished movie.  This happens to comedies in particular a lot, they have a diminshing rate of return after multiple viewings.  One of the elements of humor is surprise, and you can only laugh so many times at the same jokes (with rare exceptions, like Airplane!).  I still think this is the best Marx Brothers picture, the purest representation of their talents.  But I have to admit that this time around, I only laughed once, with maybe a few scattered chuckles.  I appreciate the cleverness and absurdity of it, and can make allowances for datedness of the comedy (the awkward pauses for laughs, for instance), but if I'm being honest with myself, it's just not as funny to me as it used to be.

Smile, chuckle, smirk, roll eyes, snicker, shake head, grimace, cringe, sigh, grin, laugh, chortle, repeat.  That was my ride on the wacky roller coaster named Duck Soup. This ride had no brakes and no rules, just unabashed put downs, perfectly timed choreography and absurd antics. It took awhile for me to warm up to the nonsense, but the lemonade traipsing clinched the deal. By the final battle, I was completely won over as Groucho paraded out his costumes.

Last year I watched Duck Soup for the umpteenth time and I found it getting a bit... old.  I could finally see some of the weaknesses.  Never had before that, though.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #91 on: September 04, 2013, 04:27:36 PM »

Moulin Rouge!
Baz Lurhmann, 2001


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Thereís exuberance to this film unmatched by any other, and I still get swept up in the sheer energy of it all. ... Itís not a perfect film, but it goes big and manages to reach some amazing heights before effortlessly crashing into deep tragedy.

I went to Moulin Rouge seeking air conditioning and with no interest in the film, but I had a blast with it. I haven't seen it in ages but I thought it was great at the time.

My experience with Moulin Rouge was unusual in that the first time I watched it I didn't get its music video sensibility at all and disliked it but then watched it again and liked it and then watched it again and loved it and have loved it every time sense. It is really touching and I think Ewan McGregor doesn't get enough credit for his performance in it. Perhaps second only to Once, this is the musical that had me singing along, even when the film isn't playing.

Moulin Rouge and Dreamgirls were two of the most insufferable movies Ive ever seen. Im not saying they are not my thing and therefore I consider them slightly overrated. Im saying they are two of the worst movies Ive ever seen and I absolutely hate them.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #92 on: September 04, 2013, 05:03:38 PM »

You've Got Mail
Nora Ephron, 1998


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I love Tom Hanks, he is easily my favorite actor, and I really like Meg Ryan as she can be the cutest thing on screen. The two together are like gold, so immensely watchable. I always figured this would be dated and cliched with all the email business, but it really works.

You've Got Mail is pretty fun; I like it.

What's not to love?

It's on cable all the time. It's incredible. Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Dave Chapelle, Parker Posey. All very likeable actors. Greg Kinnear. Very likeable. ... I'm almost scared of it it's so good.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #93 on: September 05, 2013, 11:16:12 AM »

Synecdoche, New York
Charlie Kaufman, 2008


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What can I say? It's easily the most joyless film I think I'll watch all year. It's also probably the most inventive, saddest and most ambitious... At first, it's almost overwhelmingly relentless in its chronicling of physical decay (Caden suffers pustules, has to go the doctor frequently, examines his own stool). The question of one's mortality is beaten almost into the ground in the first 40 minutes (with NPR voiceovers, cartoons, etc). Then it turns into something else. Something far more interesting. It's about trying to leave something behind, something that you'll be remembered by and about how that pursuit cuts you off from the rest of your life. And about how you're constantly trying to juggle the people in your life (and their feelings and how they won't adapt into whatever you project onto them). And, by film's end, when everyone else has died and you're alone in this mess you've built, it's heartbreaking. ... Perhaps it's far too undisciplined and messy for it to truly be great but, god damn, this shit killed me.

Always interesting, though occasionally more tiresome than engaging. All the doubling is a lot of fun. I forget what else. It's good, but it left me a little cold is all.

I have even greater respect for Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze now. Kaufman, left to direct his own movie, is completely inconsequential. My god, I'd like to have something to show for 2 hours of my time. A new idea, motivation, raised spirits, or a clue. Anything! This movie isn't abstract, it's absurd.

Itís like 8 Ĺ, but with all my favourite actors.

Hmm. . . Annie Hall without the jokes or the romance or the fun?

Can't quite decide if I love it or if I think it's a pretentious pile of poo. I think the former, but I need to watch it again. It had some absolutely wonderful moments that utterly captured me, and I love a film that has lots of existential questions to explore, existential questions that relate to art and what art can/can't do. So, yeah, I think I loved it, but it needs a re-watch.

I very much enjoyed Synecdoche, New York. Especially since I was the only person I knew that had heard of the word synecdoche before the movie came out.

Itíll never reach the heights of Mulholland Dr.  Thereís a sour, naval-gazing that outweighs the interesting absurdism.  I love the invention, but itís a bit of a grind to push through.  While Iím sure it's a most impressive achievement, I can't say how much I actually like it.  I feel like Iíll embrace it more as I grow older.  Future viewings will uncover a deeper read on the material, as I grow closer to the end of my own mortality.

I think that Synecdoche is an important film about death and life, as important as anything that Bergman has done.  I also think it is a difficult film: it is often unpleasant, often confusing and sometimes seems masturbatory on Kauffmanís part.  It is like a distasteful medicine you take because its good for you, a difficult class in college you take because your major requires it, but there is little pleasure in it, except, perhaps the intellectual pleasure of obtaining a hard-won nugget of knowledge.

I try not to use the word pretentious casually so that it has more power when I apply it to a movie like Synecdoche, NY. Ugh! :)
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #94 on: September 05, 2013, 12:30:25 PM »

Forrest Gump
Robert Zemeckis, 1994


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I'll gush over Gump. It's a perfect movie.

Rewatching this with a cinephile eye I see that the reason why this is my number one is more nostalgia and story than anything else, because it is by no means the most remarkable film ever made. However, I am a story man and the story is perfect to me. I can see the eerie similarity in story concept with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but the execution and direction is completely different. The innocence of Forrest is what really makes the biggest difference to me. As much as I love Hanks and the character of Forrest, I really think that the supporting characters of Lt. Dan, Jenny, and Bubba are stronger and the actors, Sinise, Wright Penn, and Williamson respectively, outshine Hanks' great performance. The music is also great and I'm not talking just soundtrack, the score is remarkable too and makes me feel things in connection to the film. The film really makes an emotional connection with me that none other has and that is why I regard it so highly. It has so much to offer: love, history, comedy, hardship/drama. And I put love first because it is at the center of the film. Forrest and Jenny's love, Forrest and Bubba's love, Forrest and Lt. Dan's love, and Forrest and Mama's love. He is a significant man because of his capability to love and experience what life presents him. He may not be a smart man, but he knows what love is. And the film is not without significant cinematography, which I always look for, and effects.

My lash is frontal.

Always go back and forth about whether this film is a revolting, worshipful sketch of all the Baby Boomer myths or a slap at a generation telling them that they are not nearly as special as they think they are.

The hero is a representation of a fantasy pre-60s Norman Rockwell America. Gump may interact with landmarks of the era but the film is a repackaging of Baby Boomer culture and music as a product divorced from the conflict and trauma that produced much of it. The film sells counterculture icons but is intensely conformist. I don't think the film celebrates change at all.

Dave Kehr think it's satire, but he's totally in the bag for Zemeckis. ... I think it's crap.

I saw Forrest Gump when I was a little kid in Colombia and knew nothing about recent American history. I wish I could go back to that.

Forrest Gump remains one of the best examples of the kind of fresh, original storytelling Hollywood is capable of when they allow themselves to think outside the box and hire the right talented people to bring the script to life. One of the Top 100.

I don't think it's overrated, I think it's a bad movie with a lead character that I could not rally behind. He's a boob, plain and simple. The aspects of his brushes with greatness was done in a much more believable fashion by Hal Ashby in Being There, a substantially much better film. I remember watching Gump with my wife in a crowded theater and we both were cringing constantly throughout the film.

I'm just as clueless about the dislike for Forrest Gump. I'm one of those who love it and I'm not ashamed to say it loud and clear.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #95 on: September 05, 2013, 01:53:27 PM »

Dancer in the Dark
Lars von Trier, 2000


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Dancer In The Dark ... is both misogynistic and profoundly, stupidly anti-American.

Great performances all around, along with some impressive musical scenes. Wasm't expecting a ton from Bjork, but she really brought it.

I love the musical sequences but really don't care for the drama.  Seen it 3 times cause I like Lars, even if he hates me.

This movie stunned me.  Von Trier can sometimes come up from behind and bash you behind the ear-- and I often thank him for the privilege.

As a powerfully moving drama, it excels.  As a genre experiment, it's compelling.  As an acting tour de force, it's exceptional.  And fantastic music, too.  However, as a condemnation of the American death penality, it's horribly, horribly flawed. ... Like most LVT, I have a love/hate thing with it.

I found that film incredibly frustrating...
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #96 on: September 05, 2013, 02:24:58 PM »

Syndromes and a Century
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006


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Monks who wanted to be DJs and solar eclipses. ... This got me good, people. So good. I don't know what problems I had with it before. I don't know. I'm just dumb sometimes. Takes me a while to get used to things. But this thing is so beautiful. When that one dude started talking the doctor out in the garden about how it felt to be in love I was in tears! I don't even know why these little moments are so CINECAST!ing powerful and hilarious and wonderful. I think the monk and the dentist are some of two most awesome characters of all time. It's just so beautifully realized. Just the way the dentist keeps singing and something to do with the windows being open and the uneasy smile that's on the monk's face. These little moments add up to so much. When you couple up that with the shift into the modern hospital with its sterile corridors and impersonality... It's not really that simple. It's not "oh, rural, good! urban, bad!" or anything like that (it's not even remotely about that). I can't even describe why these old ladies drinking alcohol in what looks like to be a huge closet is so powerful. And that kid playing tennis against the door. Why? Why? Why? I don't know. roujin, you are a dumb man. But you know what you like. You know what you like.

I do wish someone would have warned me ahead of time: "There is no conventional narrative here."  It felt as if Wong Kar-Wai tried to make a David Lynch film. ... Nevertheless, I do recommend the film.  The mood truly is marvelous, peaceful in both tone and in the relationships depicted.  It has a wry sense of humor, which I almost missed because I KNOW some of these people, as weird as they are (the monk with the chicken dreams?  Yeah, I know him.  He goes to my church.) The cinematography at points is just fantastic. ... The acting is pitch-perfect. And I like puzzles.  This film is one of them.

I just didn't get what I was watching.  And I'll be honest, it really bugs me when I don't get a movie. ... But there was no mystery hooking me in.  Nothing that made me WANT to figure it out, except for the fact that you all seem to get it and love it.

Syndromes is a movie filled with endless surprises.  You get the feeling that Weerasethakul enjoyed the hell out of making it.  You sense his delight in every decision, every happy accident.  And there's as much delight in absorbing it.  Delights in individual moments, like the dentist singing to his monk patient, or the bizarre interview questions, or an actor "realizing" his mike is still on long after he's left the frame, or smoke swirling into and out of and around that black hole/eclipse vent thing.  Delight in the lush greenery of the first half and the eerily sterile second half.  Delight in the delight the characters take in each other.  Delight in examining the echoes between the two halves of the film, some of them so subtle or tenuous that they may be unintentional.  Delight in asking "Why?"... and further delight in letting go of "Why?" and giving in to the joyous creativity and originality of the work.  So rich and dense without ever beating you over the head with it.  Nothing is ponderous or aching to be profound. ... I don't want to analyze.  I do, but that's in my head, that's for me.  I don't know if Joe has a mission statement for this film.  I'd like to think he does but wants you to believe he doesn't.  Or vice versa.  Certainly there are meanings to be gained... the delicate harmony between man and nature, past and present is a recurring theme in his work.  You can do whatever you want with this movie, that's for you.  That's what makes it so gorgeously wonderful, so playfully slippery.  Such a refreshing tonic.

I'm sticking with nonsensical mess. I think I gave up once it started repeating itself for no clear reason.

Rural and urban. Warm and sterile. Modern medicine and chakras. Monks and pop music. Weerasethakul seems to be exploring the juxtapositions and intersections between tradition and modernity. This is all well and good but also kind of hit and miss for me. When he injects subjectivity rather than just allowing it to exist in a visceral place, it loses me. Were the amputees meant to suggest we in the modern urban environment are incomplete or mutilated by technology? A trite observation at best and ideologically problematic at worst. I will not stand for this rural fundamentalism! Progress, but at what cost?! Spiritual decay! Fart. I doubt the film is meant to be read this literally, or at least thatís what the Miami Vice Cabal is gonna tell me, but hey, I couldnít help but see it that way. Of course, when I look past the editorializing implied by the fluorescent soulless lighting relative to the warmth and lushness of the pastoral first half, youíre left with gentle humour (I like wit with my lyricism) and (occasionally) captivating atmosphere. There are numerous unexpected touches, which really are quite lovely; eclipses and dentists serenading monks, Iím definitely on board for that. Itís in the small moments that the film really sings. At times engrossing and certainly lovely, but definitely not top 100 material for me.

I liked it more before I started reading about it. So I stopped reading about it.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #97 on: September 05, 2013, 03:23:12 PM »

The Quiet Man
John Ford, 1952


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John Ford's Technicolor Valentine to the mythical Ireland of the imagination of the child of immigrants. ... It's all very silly, stereotypical, and more than a little misogynist (one of my favorite parts is when a little old lady gives Wayne a stick with which to beat the independent O'Hara). But above all the film is beautiful shots of an idealized Ireland, bright primary greens and reds, terribly romantic and always good-humored and joyous.

The Quiet Man is super awesome.

The stereotypes are lovely. The romanticism inherent in every shot of this idealized Ireland is contagious. And John Ford probably never got closer to pure poetry as he did with the scene in the graveyard when the rain starts pouring down. It's the stuff dreams are made of.

I watched the first 30 minutes or so and was not liking it at all. Wayne's character is a major creeper at the start. Reading the plot summary after turning it off makes it sound like it gets even more aggravating in other ways.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #98 on: September 05, 2013, 03:57:02 PM »

Morvern Callar
Lynne Ramsay, 2002


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Big waste of time.

Through the first couple of scenes, I was prepared to love it ó the phone call at the station was a highlight ó but then my interest in Morvern's story came and went. I'm not sure what more I wanted ... but something.

Iím on the record with my love for Ratcatcher and all things Samantha Morton so I was pretty pumped about this one. Itís good, but only great in moments, I thought. Once they leave Scotland and the film goes into road movie mode, I kind of lost interest. It didnít knock my socks off from beginning to end, but it is more evidence of Ramsayís greatness; I canít wait for her next one.

OK, so this isn't depressing at all.  I won't believe that about Ratcatcher, however.  Anyway, I did like this quite a bit.  What is it with Scotland and amoral anti-heroes with great soundtracks?  I don't know, but this totally reminded me of early Danny Boyle, namely Shallow Grave and Trainspotting.  The colors are terrific (so much red!), and director Lynne Ramsay uses blinking lights in the corner of frames as well as I've ever seen.  I thought the plot, such as it is, was kind of gimmicky and not really believable, but I didn't really care that much.  Interesting that Morvern never really does anything that's technically immoral, if you assume there's no afterlife.

Somebody wrote this.  Then they got the money to make it into a movie.  They hired a crew and they filmed this.  Somewhere there's a hard drive of deleted scenes, but don't cut the scene where Morvern heats up a pizza.

I nothinged this film.

I think what makes the film so fascinating is just how inscrutable Morton plays Morvern Callar. What makes it harder to get a handle on what the film is actually saying about Morvern is that she isn't just a disengaged arthouse zombie posing all disaffected like the entire film. She laughs, she CINECAST!s, she gets pissed drunk and does really silly and illogical things with her girlfriend. But I don't think it's really all that impossible to figure out what's going on. She drapes her boyfriend's gift, the leather jacket, around herself, covering herself with death. She takes the lighter he gives him. She constantly listens to the mixtape he left her, cocooning herself from her everyday reality. It's a film of perpetual dislocation, ambling along with its mixed up protagonist as it goes from place to place, always moving, as the film tries to mine out emotional territory that borders on the inexpressible. And that's what makes the film interesting.

Didn't like this one much at all. Dont really understand why either because movies in this style (such as those of Kelly Reichart) often tend to really jump out at me, and I thought Samantha Morton was pretty good. Ultimately the scenes work one by one but the finished product just didnt leave much of an impression on me. Disappointed.

Completely loved it. I think I can understand why some might not take to it ... but it's incredibly, beautifully shot; Morton is amazing; the sound design and music are wonderfully woven into the story ... and it's compellingly/provocatively engaging throughout.  I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

Lynne Ramsay went for something different with Morvern Callar. She made it into what Iíd best describe as an impressionistic art film. I canít recall any dialogue from the film, though I assume people must have spoken to each other once in a while. But this film isnít about words; itís all about images. ... Iím not necessarily a fan of films picturing people walking around in the world with a miserable look in their eyes, doing random things or Ė in worst case Ė nothing at all. Sometimes it works for me, as in the case of Somewhere. Sometimes it bores me out of my mind, as with The Comedy. And Iím not capable of telling what exactly makes it go one way or the other. ... In the case of Morvern Callar thereís no question of what makes me embrace it, despite the fact that Iím not completely on board with the main character. Itís in the cinematography, which has that special Ramsay feel to it. As with the two other Ramsay films Iíve seen, the images stick in my mind, like a shadow of the sun remains on your eyelids when youíve been looking directly at the sun even if your mum told you not to. ... The storytelling is somewhat slow and a quite subtle, as you have to second guess whatís going on in the mind of Morvern from her facial expressions and from her - sometimes irrational Ė actions. But the fact remains: not once did I look down on my watch to check the time. I was too wrapped up in the mood and the music and the flow of images to remember that I had a wrist watch and that the film had an end.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #99 on: September 05, 2013, 06:24:59 PM »


Federico Fellini, 1963


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It's about the difficulty of writing when you've got writer's block, abut the narcissism of trying to adapt your own life and memories into narratives, about the neuroses of a wealthy cosmopolitan Roman Catholic European in the mid-20th Century. ... The film's poetry starts with the opening scene, as Guido escapes from his poisonous car and floats out over and away from a traffic jam and out to the beach, only to be pulled back to earth by annoying people who want him to do stuff. It's one of my favorite scenes in all of film, and the movie only gets weirder, if never quite as funny or beautiful again.

8Ĺ is not Fellini's best film nor is it a masterpiece!

I donít know when I have ever seen a movie so complicated and yet almost perfectly balanced, so fascinating and yet so entertaining, such an equal use of my heart and my head. 

Too much pressure, must rewatch in 6 months

Every scene is amazing.  You find yourself looking forward to the parts you remember, and during the other parts youíre thinking ďI canít believe I forgot this scene!Ē.  For most directors, the meta-narrative about a filmmaker who canít seem to make his film would be plenty.  But whatís magical about 8 1/2 is that itís about so much more than that.  Guido isnít simply unable to commit to his filmÖ heís unable to commit to anything.  His dreams, his fantasies and his past keep intruding on reality with childlike abandon.  And itís done so brilliantly, it just flows perfectly and doesnít feel written at all.  It really is a perfect movie, even though I kind of hate to say it, partly because I like Nights of Cabiria even more, and I wouldnít call that one ďperfectĒ.  The lighting is perfect, the music is perfect, the casting is perfect (especially the minor roles and background actors ó what a sea of amazing faces!).  It sweeps you off your feet.  There are films I love that arenít canon, and there are canon films that Iím not fond of at all, but sometimes canon is canon for a very good reason.  Absolutely one of the best films ever made.

I just gave this my second watch last night. When I was first getting into the "great movies of all time" I watched this film and liked it, but didnt really have the overall knowledge of film that I do now. I really appreciated it much more.

Just as the filmmaker in his own film doesn't exactly know what to do, Fellini seems to just be accumulating scenes or moments of his story without knowing how to mesh them together, the film does not flow. It is simply a sequence of surreal dream moments which are technically impressive but were difficult to follow and contributed very little to any kind of story. ... On the other hand the film looks amazing. ... The glasses, the suit, the hair, the womens make-up and costumes everything is so gorgeous and stylish. ... The film has some great moments (opening/ending scenes) but at 2h30 there are a lot of scenes that are unnecessary and don't bring anything to the film or the character of Guido. I'm liking it more as I dwell on it but after my first viewing it bothered me.

Every now and then I felt like I understood what Fellini was going for, and sometimes I thought his direction was marvelous.  But for the bulk of the film, I felt like the parade kept passing me by.  Like Fellini himself was grasping for something, even though he didn't quite know what.  While that's probably what helps to make 8 1/2 such an enduring film - the incompleteness that allows an audience to bring their own opinions in - it left me alienated a lot.  Sometimes I enjoyed the magic, but more often I felt like the trick was being played on me.  Like people couldn't see past the pretty suit and realize this film doesn't know where it's going.

This film is awesome. It does take some concentration, especially considering it is in Italian and I am not fluent in Italian. The plot appears complex and the presentation makes it seem complex, but when you finish the film, sit back, and think about what youíve just seen, it isnít that complex. ... The thing I loved most about the film was the look. Marcello Mastronianni is the definition of cool in this film. The sunglasses, the suits, and I hate to say it, the cigarettes. Oh to be Italian. But really what I want to say is I want to be him, did you see all those gorgeous women? Claudia Cardinale, Barbara Steele, Anouk Aimee, the list goes on and they are all stunningly beautiful. Add to that some of the best costume design, art direction, and imaginative cinematography and you have one heck of a film to look at. I have never been a great judge of foreign language acting, because Iím always reading the dialogue more than I am watching the actors as much as I try to watch them, but I would dare say the acting was good too. Those moments when there was no dialogue, Mastroianni and Aimee especially, do great to express without words. ... It just feels like a great movie through and through. You canít put your finger on it, you struggle to describe it, itís just there. You can tell that something magical has come together and made a great movie. That is 8 1/2.

Ah, 8Ĺ, what more can be said? Well, in so many words: Psychedelic1 trips2 meander3 less4 than5 this6 self-indulgently7 protracted8 bull--Ĺ

I feel it all: the panic, the suffocation, the escape and the freedom, all in that opening scene. Without a doubt, it's my favorite moment in the film and possibly one of my top 5 visceral movie moments. Claustrophobia is a phobia I can identify with. There is no rational talking it away, as it creeps up the back of my shoulders and grabs me by the arms. I have to shake it off just thinking about the scene. It's composition is something to behold, with the sardine cars, the torsos on the bus and the fists seen through steamed up windows and I'm so relieved for the moment of flight to bring release. And that's what? The first three minutes? ... My second favorite scene is the farm of women. It both infuriates and delights me, leaving me to question my perspective of what it means to be a woman and whether that is even answerable. In Fellini's world, where the real and fantastical collide, no one woman can possess all that he is looking for, so he fills a farmhouse full of types: nurturer, partner, coquette, confidante, clown, but his dream soon comes apart at the seams, as he realizes he's losing control of them, that is until he can subdue them once more. After all, it is his fantasy. The lighting and the ribbons flowing in front of the constantly moving camera, keep the sequence fluid and surprising.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.