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The Top 6 Movies of Antonioni

posted by Kevin Lannister

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The director earned an economics degree at Bologna, but he chose film industry already when he was young. He began his career as a critic, he contracted with the official film magazine of the Mussolini regime, but due to his progressive views they dismissed him a few months later, thenceforward he wrote screenplays for others. He directed his first independent film, the “Story of a Love Affair” in 1950.

He started to make his famous trilogy in the 60’s, the first of which was shouted down by the Cannes audience, because according to them it lacked the dialogue and the plot, but critics loved it. This was followed by La Notte with one of film history’s most beautiful love letters, read out by Jeanne Moreau to her husband, Marcello Maistroianni.

In the final piece of the triple eclipse is his favorite actress Monica Vitti, who is playing the broker Alain Delon’s lover. The first color film is Red Desert, and Vitti is playing herself as an unstable wife looking for highly colored industrial landscapes. He moved to England in the sixties, Blow-up was shot here, which was the first blockbuster for Antonioni.

David Hemmings played the fashion photographer in the movie, who was jaded from marijuana and women who finds traces of a murder is one of the recordings. The film was awarded with Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966, and received two Oscar nominations.

Later, the American student movements attracted him to the States, where he directed Zabriskie Point, for which the Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones also composed music.  Antonioni gave the two leading role to Mark Frechette and Daria Halprin, who did not have any experience in acting.

In 1972 he shot in China due to the invitation of Mao Zedong’s regime after the Cultural Revolution, but the documentary movie “Chung Kuo” was later strongly condemned by Peking. In 1982 he returned to Italy and created the “Identification of a Woman”, in which the pioneers of electronic music, Tangerine Dream and John Foxx also are incorporated.

In 1989 he directed a documentary movie about the Italian World Cup of 1990 with eleven companions, including Bertolucci, Monicelli, Rosi and Zeffirelli. In 1985, he got a stroke, thus he got partially paralyzed and was unable to speak any more. Nevertheless, ten years later he filmed  with Wim Wenders the movie “Beyond the Clouds” too.

In the same year he took the Oscar award recognizing his oeuvre from Jack Nicholson, played the role of the main character in the movie “The Passenger”, but the statue was stolen a few months later by a burglar. In 2004 he made “Eros” together with Steven Soderbergh and Wong Kar-Wai.


6. Eclipse

Empty human relationships. Disinterestedness, love failure. A lost female figure, who does not find her place and who tries to prove her existence with love. And all this in the bourgeois milieu where even the uneventful sufferings of the pampered persons are so desirable.

 

Since the pitfalls, the deprivation and the disappointing realities of the verisimilar, say philistine existence do not exist here. Deprivation and disappointing realities are not included. Therefore, what is to remain is the depression the existential crisis of our deeper selves instead of financial troubles.


5. The Night

Giovanni,  who lives in Milan, has became a successful writer with a bleak inner world unveiled his wife Lydia before in a single day. Lidia’s famous solitary stroll in the suburbs leads her to the hospital in the morning.

Her dying friend’s emptiness with luxury and upper middle-class veneer contributed to the dawn of the cold and then she confronts her husband’s former bleakness itself.


4. Red Desert

Giuliana, the prosperous housewife living with her husband and her child, whose unstable nervous system was traumatized by a car accident, is looking hopelessly for herself, the meaning of her life, the right community, while it is revealed how much impact the bleak-destructive industrial landscape has on the increasingly inhuman people.

There is nothing and nobody that she can hold on. As she herself puts it: the acts have separated themselves from her… This is Antonioni’s first color film in which the director emphasizes the colors and the contrasts instead of the dialogues and events. The northern Italian factories are depressingly gray, the ship is black and white, where Giuliana outfit is flamboyant or only black.

But the walls are red. On the first hand the movie is about the duality of the rich northern industrial areas and the poor southern part and the environmental pollution. The existentialist philosophy emerges during the new wave, with it’s focus on our solitude in our decisions, the alienation and our inability to love.

The actors are only marching in the desert while the sand – as a symbol of psychological devastation – does not consume them.


3. The Passenger

David Locke, the journalist travels to one of the North African countries to make a report on the guerrilla struggle. He meets the gun smuggler in the hotel in the desert who suddenly dies. The burnt-out reporter feels that the time has come to break with his old lifestyle.

He picks up the dead man’s identity and takes his filofax, which leads him to dangerous weapon smugglers and a mysterious young woman through Africa and Europe. Locke is forced to face the fact that although he managed to get rid of his previous life, his new life seem to be even tougher.


2. Identification of a Woman

Niccolò Farra , a film director in his forties living separately from his wife is looking for a new female main character for his films. Mavi, the mysterious, aristocratic girl gets in front of him by mere chance. He even forgets about his film because of her. More and more special things happen to him, but finally Mavi disappears from his life after a violent hassle.

Niccoló gets to know Ida with a completely different nature during his search for her, who will help him in finding Mavi. He wishes to deepen the relationship with Ida. They travel to Venice, but the girl is indisposed by the uneasiness of Niccolò, so she leaves him. Niccolò returns to Rome to finally deal with his movie.


1. Blow-Up

This movie is about a fashion photographer goes to photograph the reality after getting tired of stupid models whom he had to photograph all the day long. An he sees a strange couple in an abandoned London, an older, elegant gentleman and a young girl – this topic is also a topic, he gets to shoot a picture of the, once, twice, many times.

But when they notice him, the girl scampers after him and passionately demands the film. Without any results. Later, she appears in the photographer’s studio, and after she realizes that she cannot obtain the negative, she offers herself to the young man. But she does not get the film neither.

Her fervid efforts only increases the photographer’s curiosity: why does this girl need so this film, what does those photographs depict? So he starts to develop the film, zooming all the details. Lo! It turns out that there is a hand stretching out from one of the bushes with a gun, while a corpse is lying under the other one.

The brains of the viewers -which were burnished on crime stories start to feverishly combine. The old the young girl might have somehow trapped the gentleman, he would have died in the lonely park, if the photographer does not bedazzle the idyll…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Lannister (see all articles)

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