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Two more similar movies are hard to find (not counting sequels :). The one thing that puts La Dolce Vita over the top, is the seven day format. It allows a great deal more to be said by the segmented events of a man's life. The symbolism in the movie is also by far better. The giant fish, the haunted house, the prophetic children and even the girl who Marcello has such an affinity for seems to be more than she is. 8 1/2 seems a little too focused on the role of women, rather than the broad topics of Dolce Vita.
8 1/2 has just enough fantasy to justify the events. The trippy beginning and dreamlike sequences give the movie a feeling as well as a meaning. La Dolce Vita while perfect, still lacks that cohesive element. The entire life of a human or the meaning of life cannot be summarized into seven evenings. 8 1/2 focuses itself on achievement, and women. In the end we are left with a picture of a man's life as complete as Charles Foster Kane.
Both are excellent, excellent filmmaking, but 8 1/2 is the only one that makes it into my top ten (five).
I'd much rather watch La Dolce Vita but 8 1/2 might be better art in that I guess the story is how distracted and overwhelmed a director can be and it certainly conveyed that since it was hard to pay attention to and I wished it'd just calm down for a second.
Gosh. I dunno. 8 1/2 today, for the brothel scene.
La dolce vita no question. better made and better subject matter. 8 1/2's subject matter is empty and its style is self indulgent.
I've switched to La Dolce Vita. At it's essence I think it has something even more pure and truthful than 8 1/2.
both are extraordinary, but 8 1/2 is my #14