Failing to find inspiration in sexual fantasies, Guido tries his hand at suicide, and comes up with a brilliant plot for his next movie.
Fellini's self-reflexive autobiography, Eight And A Half, has Marcello Mastroianni playing his alter ego in the movie.
Guido Anselmi, a film director, has had a big hit, but doesn't know what his next venture is going to be. He has some vague notions about a sci-fi project, and his producer spents a fortune on building a gigantic set of a rocket ship, but secretly, Guido doesn't have a clue what his next movie will be about. He is unable to find a moment's peace, with his mistress, wife, producer, and friends pressuring him about one thing or the another.
He probes his past and his sexual fantasies, and fails to find any inspiration there. In an extreme attempt to cleanse himself of the old, and to rise again as an artist, he kills himself. In the final scene, the buzzer sounds, bright lights come on, and the camera starts rolling. This is the film that Guido has been making.
The film within a film, within a film, is a major cinematic achievement. The title refers to the eight features and two short films that Fellini had completed before he began work on this film.
Director: Federico Fellini
Cast: Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Rossella Falk, Madeleine Le Beau, Marcello Mastroianni, Sandra Milo
Length: 135 minutes
Screenplay: Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano
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