When I show 8-1/2 in my lecture at Columbia, most of the students in a class of 65 respond to it in probably the way Fellini hoped an audience would: amused by the foibles and weaknesses of an artist attempting to give birth in a world that is quite unsympathetic to his dilemma. (Fellini regarded this film as a comedy and had taped a sign above the eyepiece of the camera: "This is a comedy.")

Film students are naturally interested in gaining some insight into this specific dilemma, in which they hope someday to be embroiled themselves. But this dilemma

— will Guido make a movie? — is only the McGuffin (a term coined by Hitchcock, which stands for any object or device that exists solely for initiating the plot). Guido's problem with finding a story for his movie is the vehicle for Fellini to explore the second, the deeper, and the main dilemma of the protagonist: Will he find a way to lead an authentic life? A life without a lie? This is a dilemma that all of us face

— it is universal — and thus it raises this film into the category of art. It speaks to all of us.

Of course, as in any form of art (film or painting, music or dance), the theme must be rendered in a powerful voice that can resonate within the soul of each member of the audience. This is a tall order. It is rarely achieved. But for years now, 8-1/2 has been regarded by many as a true work of art — a masterpiece. Is it possible to discern what some of the ingredients are that make it so? Is it possible to find something in this work you can bring to your own work? Absolutely. And though whatever you learn from it will not guarantee that you will produce a work of art, it will certainly help you to tell more interesting and powerful stories that will engage audiences — a huge and noble accomplishment in itself.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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