In Federico Fellini's 1963 movie, 8 ½, we witness the main character suffer through the typical midlife crisis yet there is more to this idea than just another midlife crisis.
The fear of aging is an important theme within this movie. Throughout the film we see different ways Fellini throws this idea in. For example, the movie starts with Guido (Marcello Mastroianni) talking about his age; this gives viewers the idea that this is going to be important in the movie. These ideas continue on when Guido goes to the spa because he is sick, and how he continually worries that he is getting old and worthless. Guido also feels like that, along with his growing age, that he will not be able to creative anymore. Usually Guido's work involves youth; and. without himself being a youth, this could be difficult.
This commentary is also placed throughout the movie in psychical matters. For instance, the audience watches as Guido looks at his wrinkles in a mirror; people comment on his gray hair and the way they believe he dresses like an old man. The idea of getting older is not always about Guido but his friends also. Guido feels that Mezzabotta (Mario Pizu) is making a fool of himself for dating a younger woman and trying to keep up with her. Guido is also compared to his friend, Conocchia (Mario Conocchia), who feels close to the way that Guido does. They both believe that with the onslaught of age they will lose their creativity. Without their creativity they feel like they will have nothing left.
Fellini places these ideas within this movie to show how some cannot deal with the idea of change. Even the forms of change, as humans, we cannot slow like aging. This is an important and often seen theme within the movie 8 ½.