Bob Fosse's autobiographical phantasmagoria (1979), based on 81/2
and photographed by Fellini's own man, Giuseppe Rotunno. Fellini's film was lyrical, reflective, and sentimental; Fosse's is manic, strained, and full of huffa-puffa decadence. Almost every scene is excruciating (and a few are appalling), yet the film stirs an obscene fascination with its rapid, speed-freak cutting and passionate psychological striptease. This is the feverish, painful expression of a man who lives in mortal fear of his own mediocrity. With Roy Scheider (his jumpy performance nearly holds the film together), Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking, and Leland Palmer. R, 123 min.