"In an age when other fantastically speedy, widespread media are triumphing and running the risk of flattening all communication onto a single, homogeneous surface, the function of literature is communication between things that are different simply because they are different, not blunting but even sharpening the differences between them, following the true bent of the written language." Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium.
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By now, you're coming to terms with the millions and millions of time you've encountered some form of hype for Nine, the star-studded project featuring the likes of Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day Lewis, Dame Judi Dench, and more. In fact, Nine joins the ranks of overhyped and overstylized of 2009.
Why? Well, let's talk about what you don't know. Nine is actually a remake of the great Fellini classic 8 1/2. Shot in black and white, the film stars actor Marcello Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi, a famous director that is suffering from a creative block. (The film's title is actually a reference to Fellini's time as a director, eight and a half years at the time, 1963.) Guido, stalled on his new film, has lost interest amidst creative and martial differences. As he struggles, the film dives back into his memories and fantasies, each interwoven with reality. Also a fun fact? Kate Hudson's role was actually added to the film's remake. But 8 1/2 is the recipient of two Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language film.
So why should you see it?
There are a number of reasons, of course. It's a classic. It's a classic. It's a classic. It's a classic. With a Hollywood obsessed with sparkly vampires and remakes, overbudget adapations, and films that seem entirely too long for any sane human being.
But there's something completely unadulterated about 8 1/2, about how it's shot and produced; the charisma of the actors, the chemistry of time from scene to scene. It's a film that undoubtedly inspires and inspires in such a way that you remember how to appreciate romance: in life, in love, and in our everyday interactions. It's not a film for film's sake film, but a film that stands as the medium should be: stories of our lives.
So buy it. Rent it. Search high and low on the internet for it. 8 1/2 is a must-see for all film lovers.