Archival Eyewear: 8½ (Fellini 1963)

I haven’t seen in ten years and my memory of the film (filtered through Stardust Memories and the Simpsons) boils down to three set pieces: the spa, the rhumba and the rocket. Screening a new Criterion Blu-ray edition, I enjoyed revisiting the film’s small transitional scenes and secondary characters. I was further amazed by all the stylish eyewear worn by nearly everyone in the film. As my friend Karen notes: “Reasons to Love Fellini. Number 1: He allowed his characters to be attractive and still wear corrective lenses. “

11 thoughts on “Archival Eyewear: 8½ (Fellini 1963)”

  1. Definitely the best argument for leading characters to be allowed eyewear in film. I hate the habit of cinema to have the characters remove them for the “glorious transformation” — how lovely it is to see Guido put them on rather than take them off as he meets Carla at the station.

  2. Hi Leslie!
    Here I am checking the blogosphere, having watched 8 1/2 yesterday and seeing your blurb on it today. It’s been 20 years since i last saw it (fell asleep the 1st time). I dozed off at least twice this time (blame it on a bike ride this time), but thx to rewind, was able to see the magic of the movie. How did you get the version with yellow subtitles? My BluRay version was with white subtitles (suboptimal- req’d mult. rewinds).

  3. Hi guys,

    I have what I think is an interesting idea for a guest post. Didn’t see an email link on the blog, so I’m hoping I can get in touch with you this way — sorry to take discussion away from Fellini’s way with eyewear. But yeah. You don’t know who I am. I’m not anybody. But I think my idea is worth a thought.


  4. “Trust” by Hal Hartley is another great movie for beautiful eyewear – and as far as I know the only one where the heroine does a reverse makeover by starting wearing corrective lenses (and construction boots) halfway through the film.

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