Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni – L’Eclisse (1962)


Synopsis :
Leaving her lover of four years, Vittoria starts an affair with a stockbroker. But as the film progresses, her emptiness becomes more obvious, echoed in the buildings and the landscape, and she finally decides on a life of solitude rather than marriage or a failing relationship. Completing what is now seen as a trilogy of films on alienation after The Adventure and The Night, The Eclipse paints a picture of how modern industrial society can obliterate the emotions between men and women. Antonioni uses his symbols boldly: the final shots – 52 of them – hauntingly reflect a city empty of life. Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – Identificazione di una donna AKA Identification of a Woman (1982)


Michelangelo Antonioni’s Identification of a Woman is a body- and soul-baring voyage into one man’s artistic and erotic consciousness. After his wife leaves him, a film director finds himself drawn into affairs with two enigmatic women: at the same time, he searches for the right subject and actress for his next film. This spellbinding antiromance was a late-career coup for the legendary Italian filmmaker, and is renowned for its sexual explicitness and an extended scene on a fog-enshrouded highway that stands with the director’s greatest set pieces (-Criterion) Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – La signora senza camelie AKA The Lady Without Camelias [+Extras] (1953)


Clara Manni (Lucia Bosé, so good in Antonioni’s A Story of a Love Affair), a Milan shop girl, is discovered on the street and used for a bit part in a movie. That single part brings her immediate celebrity, and with the coaxing of her producer, Gianni, she becomes a screen sex symbol. She has great success in several sex comedy vehicles, but Gianni decides to push her into the world of the art film in order to attain artistic legitimacy and respect. She never wishes for this, since money is never an issue to her, but she is pushed head first into a production of Joan of Arc. The film is brutally attacked by the critics, and Clara’s dignity and identity are thrown into question in the harrowing final shot. Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – Sette canne, un vestito (1949)


short documentary on the production of rayon, shot in Torviscosa (Italy). It portrays the production of this new synthetic fabric in the small town of Torviscosa, entirely built following strict fascist canons. Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – The Architecture of Vision (1996)


A collection of interviews and essays, many of them never before available in English, from one of the most important postwar Italian filmmakers. Antonioni’s cinema is “a world of images, not of words,” but this volume, published in Italy two years ago, is chockablock with the filmmaker’s words. Ironically, Antonioni had seldom written on films before he started making them. As a result, virtually all of the material in this book is about his own films and filmmaking experience. He has said, “Writing for me is a deepening of the gaze,” but he’s generally been one of those filmmakers who is reluctant to talk or write about his work. Given the intensely visual nature of his film poetry and the cryptic, elliptical dialogue that accompanies it, it is surprising how concise and analytical he is in the many interviews included in this volume. The book is divided into four sections: “My Cinema,” a series of general discussions of Antonioni’s aesthetic ideas; “My Films,” short pieces on individual films, including all of his best-known work (Blow Up, L’Avventura, Red Desert, Zabriskie Point, among others); “Interviews” and “Interviews on My Films,” which cover his career and specific works, respectively. Unfortunately, the pieces and interviews on individual films often call for a readership with an intimate knowledge of the movie in question, and for the nonspecialist may be a hard slog. Antonioni is ruthlessly candid, a brilliant talker, and an interesting writer. Although it is the fans of his cinema that will profit most from this collection, any serious student of film should give it a look. Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – Lo Sguardo di Michelangelo AKA Michelangelo Eye to Eye (2004)


By the time Michelangelo Antonioni released Michelangelo Eye to EyeBeyond the Clouds in 1995, his keen sense of patient, intimate observation had seemed to give way to a kind of leering, gratuitous voyeurism in the film’s repeated, over-lingering shots of the female form. It is, however, precisely this painstaking attention to the voluptuousness of form and tactileness of surfaces that makes his subsequent short film, Michelangelo Eye to Eye particularly sensual and textural in its execution. Prefaced with a text description of the filmmaker’s recent health problems (in particular, a debilitating stroke that left him partially paralyzed), the film opens with a shot of a frail Antonioni emerging from the shadows as he walks in slow, awkward gait into an unpopulated hall where Michelangelo Buonarotti’s marble statue of Moses – a scaled down version of an ambitiously conceived wall tomb for Pope Julius II – is once again in display after a period of meticulous restoration. Composed of a series of detailed observations of the sculpture’s composition from several camera angles and vantage points, Antonioni continually refocuses to the shot of Moses’ opaque gaze – an image that is sublimely matched by the filmmaker’s own occluded, returned gaze as he examines the object of his attention through limpid, watery eyes. In addition to creating a thorough, meticulous, and deliberative objective study of the Renaissance sculpture’s robust physical form and timeless, universal beauty, Antonioni’s juxtaposition of his own weakened, aging frame against the larger-than-life sculpture of Moses creates an indelible, thoughtful, and poignant image on human frailty, transience, creative compromise, and the enduring legacy of – and mortal transcendence through – enlightened art.
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Michelangelo Antonioni – Cronaca di un Amore AKA Chronicle of a Love (1950)

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Michelangelo Antonioni’s first narrative feature is a stark, minimal interpersonal drama that would establish many of the themes and techniques that would recur in his work for the rest of his career. Story of a Love Affair centers on the dynamic between Guido and Paola, two old flames re-igniting their passions for one another. Tabs are being kept on both of the lovers by their current spouses as well as by a private investigator, but even after their pursuers fall out of the picture — whether due to accidents or disinterest — Guido and Paola find that their love for each other is waning. Filled with stark, empty compositions, unpredictable camera movements, and static, self-obsessed characters, Story of a Love Affair would mark Antonioni as a maverick among the prevailing neorealists of the post-war Italian film community.
-AMG Review- Read More »