It has to be the best film about the creative process ever made. Perhaps it's the only one. And the last five minutes are pure joy. Phew, but we've earned them!
The second best film of all time? Well it's up there somewhere. I'd put it neck and neck with La Dolce Vita. They form a diptych. Or perhaps it's a triptych, with Giulietta as the other wing. Federico stands on the summit, teetering slightly, before beginning the long descent into the valley of too much spaghetti.
A film artist can expect a stretch of ten, maybe fifteen years at the top, says Fellini in one of his recorded conversations. It seems to have been true for him- but not for others (Welles, Bergman, Kubrick, Ford- they just went on and on.) Among the later bloated films I love Roma the best, but I haven't seen that many of them. Where do you get hold of La Voce della Luna for pity's sake? I would love to discover that they are all neglected masterpieces, but I don't suppose they are. Never mind. La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2 are quite enough for one lifetime.