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Fellini’s Latest Causing Sensation in Rome

Feb. 27, 1963 - Federico Fellini’s latest film, “8 1/2,” is causing a sensation in Rome, where it is drawing an unprecedented 1,500 lire ($2.50) a seat. The title derives from the number of films the director of “La Dolce Vita” has made; the 1/2 refers to his short segment in “Boccaccio ’70” — though, to be precise, it was roughly a quarter of the film. One cynical critic stated after seeing the film that he now understood why Fellini had no real title: “He had no real story.” Here is the story: a middle-aged film director at a spa dreams about his life, past and present, and people he has met. He imagines himself living in a single house with every woman he has desired. He then tries to make a movie of this life, but it flops. Whatever the critical differences of opinion about the film, Fellini’s real-life effort is certainly not flopping. The cast is headed by Marcello Mastroianni (pictured), Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée, and Sandra Milo.

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