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8 1/2 Women (1999)

Cast: John Standing, John Standing, Matthew Delamere, more...
Director: Peter Greenaway, Peter Greenaway
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Foreign, Black Comedy, Netherlands, UK
Running Time: 121 min.
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

From Peter Greenaway, one of Britain's most controversial directors, 8 1/2 Women is a laconic black comedy that examines the age-old phenomenon of male sexual fantasy, its roots and consequences. A rich businessman from Geneva acquires eight and a half pachinko parlors in Kyoto, Japan. They are run by his son who is fascinated by earthquakes. When the father's beloved wife dies, the son takes him to see Federico Fellini's film 8 1/2 to distract him from his grief and rekindle some interest in the opposite sex. Inspired by Fellini's vision, they bring eight and a half women from Japan and Europe and turn the father's Geneva mansion into a private harem. Amanda Plummer, Toni Collette, Polly Walker and Vivian Wu (the protagonist of Greenaway's previous film The Pillow Book), head the cast of this multi-layered film that failed to reach the degree of critical acclaim of Greenaway's previous works. ~ Gönül Dönmez-Colin, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
The Pillow Book
Another Greenaway assault on the senses, more elaborate and sensual

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover
Still Greenaway's most (in)famous film, either rewarding or repugnant, depending on your taste

8 1/2
See the original Fellini classic that inspires the men in the film

GreenCine Member Reviews

disturbing and amusing by rarcher August 6, 2003 - 8:07 AM PDT
2 out of 5 members found this review helpful
i quite liked this film
personally, i think this one disturbed me more than any of his other films
and that's part of what i enjoyed
the way these men explore fetishism and break taboos...
sort of reminds me a bit of the movie happiness

Pachinko and Sex by TAubuchon May 14, 2002 - 10:51 AM PDT
8 out of 10 members found this review helpful
This is definitely the most erotic of Greenaway films. Luckily Greenaway's humor balanced the darker side of his characters' fantasies. His love of numbers and layering are present throughout the film, which is beautiful, yet controversial.In a very Greenaway's device, when the father acquires eight and 1/2 pachinko parlors at someone else's shame and does not head the advice to sell it, his life is unwittingly changed. When his wife suddenly dies, his son Storey comes back from Kyoto where he has been running the pachinko parlors, to help him through his grief, in most unorthodox ways. Soon they are off to Kyoto, where they begin to collect their harem of women, 8 and 1/2. The story quickly moves between men's fantasy and women's desires and strangely enough, just about, everyone gets what they wanted in the end.This is a well made and well acted film, however it is not for everyone. John Standing, Vivian Wu and Toni Collete all give outstanding performances.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.33)
127 Votes
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