Described by Fellini as "something between a muddled visit to a psychiatrist and an examination of a disordered conscience with Limbo as the setting," 8 1/2 is a brilliant portrait of the creative process and a powerful meditation on the relationship between the realms of fantasy and film. Mastroianni plays a successful director who experiences a creative block, which is exacerbated by the demands of his wife (Aimeé), his mistress, his producer, and a legion of actors and technicians from his past productions. His response is to retreat into a fantasy world replete with harems, spaceships, and a luminous actress (Cardinale). A masterpiece of the modern cinema, 8 1/2 earned top honors at the Moscow Film Festival and was nominated for several Academy Awards, winning Oscars for its costume design and Best Foreign Language Film.
Etched directly onto tinted 70mm film, Caroline Leaf’s gorgeous animated short challenges our ideas about beauty by presenting us with a relationship that is both cruel and tender.