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Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title  (original: Otto e mezzo)

director Federico Fellini

leading actors/actresses Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo, Mario Pisu

supporting actors/actresses Claudia Cardinale, Barbara Steele, Rossella Falk, Madeline LeBeau

type of work Feature film

genre Auteur; drama; comedy

language Italian (with occasional French and English)

time and place produced May–October 1962 in Rome and Ostia, Italy

awards

 · 1963 Moscow International Film Festival:
 · Winner, Grand Prix (Federico Fellini)
 · 1963 National Board of Review (United States):
 · Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
 · 1963 New York Film Critics’ Circle Awards:
 · Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
 · 1964 Academy Awards:
 · Winner, Best Costume Design, Black and White (Piero Gherardi)
 · Winner, Best Foreign Film
 · 1964 Bodil Awards:
 · Winner, Best European Film (Federico Fellini)
 · 1964 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists:
 · Winner, Best Cinematography, Black and White (Gianni Di Venanzo)
 · Winner, Best Director (Federico Fellini)
 · Winner, Best Original Story (Federico Fellini and Ennio Flaiano)
 · Winner, Best Producer (Angelo Rizzoli)
 · Winner, Best Score (Nino Rota)
 · Winner, Best Screenplay (Federico Fellini, Brunello Rondi, Tullio Pinelli, and Ennio Flaiano)
 · Winner, Best Supporting Actress (Sandra Milo)
 · 1965 Kinema Junpo Awards:
 · Winner, Best Foreign Language Film (Federico Fellini)
 · Winner, Best Foreign Language Film Director (Federico Fellini)

dates of release  February 1963 (Italy), June 1963 (United States)

producer Angelo Rizzoli

setting (time) Early 1960s

setting (place) A small spa town in Italy, near the coast

protagonist Guido Anselmi

major conflict Guido must decide what he wants his next movie to say and whether he can save his marriage.

rising action Guido’s cowriter despises his script, the leading actresses seem wrong for their roles, Guido’s wife Luisa is fed up with his indecision, and as the shooting dates approach Guido is overwhelmed by pressure and wants to quit.

climax Guido realizes that his original ideas were wrong, fires his leading actress, and quits the film.

falling action Guido begins a new, more truthful film and asks Luisa to forgive him.

themes The fear of aging; the tyranny of the mind; the frivolity of society

motifs Female sensuality; Catholicism; professional stress

symbols Guido’s nose; the rocket launch pad; the rope; the spring

foreshadowing The construction of the absurd rocket launch set foreshadows the ultimate collapse and disintegration of the film Guido is working on.