Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Thomas Purdy 

BA [Hons] Film + Television Production

Thomas is a producer from Belfast currently based in Dublin. Graduating from The National Film School as a production major, Thomas is experienced in producing short films, music videos, commercials and documentaries. As a producer, Thomas is keen to collaborate with creative new voices in film, helping to guide their project from development to a finished film of a high standard.

Thesis: Cinema Reflexivity in Federico Fellini’s ‘8½’

Thomas explores ‘cinema reflexivity’ and whether filmmakers paradoxically reach a greater truth by exposing the falsity of their work? He examines Federico Fellini’s ‘8½’ as a case study, one of the most well known and well regarded ‘films about filmmaking’. Reflexivity was an opportunity for Fellini as a director to examine his own creative process by creating an alter-ego, Guido Anselmi, a film director suffering from a creative block - Fellini recreating his own creative crisis onscreen. Fellini, a director hounded by critics for his departure from the neorealist movement was facing a crisis of confidence after his Palme d’Or win for ‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960).

Thomas examines in depth the filmic techniques which Fellini employed in order to expose the film’s artifice: The artificiality of the mise-en-scène, visual and aural cues, disruptive editing techniques and the casting of Fellini’s real crew for Guido’s crew. Critics have interpreted the film as a training session in positive self-deception.

The final chapter looks at the ending of the film and how it purposely contradicts the Hollywood ending with little to no resolutions being fulfilled; Fellini reflecting his belief that concrete conclusions are immoral, life is a constant, never-ending search for the answer which we should take pleasure in.