A Pictorial History of the Movies: 1963 – 8½

1963 is a tough year to choose from. Because what exactly is the focal point?

I thought about choosing Cleopatra, as an example of the crumbling institution of classical Hollywood filmmaking, but there were a couple of epic films over the past few years, and why focus on that?

Plus, 1963 has a couple of holdovers from 1962 in it, like Dr. No and How the West Was Won, which makes it difficult. Which year do they count for?

Then, there’s a movie like The Cardinal, which deals with a lot of social issues, like abortion, bigotry, and racism, in a very frank way, which was just one of the final death knells to the production code. But I talked about that a lot as well.

And there are other great movies I could have chosen as well, for various reasons.

But instead, I’m completely copping out and choosing 8½, and the rest of this article is basically going to consist of, “Look at it. Look how great this is.”

Though aren’t they all like that?

I really have nothing to say about 8½. It doesn’t really represent 1963, but it’s just such a great all-time movie that I can legitimately use it as a choice. So that’s what I’m doing.

I already talked about the emergence of foreign cinema, so I’m not gonna bother talking about that again.

I guess I could talk about the emergence of the auteur theory, and how this film represents that. Since this is an auteur kind of movie, where you know that the entire film is the vision of Federico Fellini and no one else. So there’s that.

But mostly… it’s 8½. If simply choosing it for what it is makes it a cop out… I’m fine with that.


One response

  1. I’d have liked to see you do The Cardinal, just because I think that film’s heavily underrated. 8 1/2 is pretty hard to deny, though, so I get it. (Though honestly, America America is even better than The Cardinal and you could maybe fudge a case for it.)

    October 8, 2014 at 6:45 pm

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