― jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Thursday, 20 January 2005 15:53 (fourteen years ago) link
Panned when it came out but I liked it: Beyond The Clouds
― Ken L (Ken L), Thursday, 20 January 2005 16:24 (fourteen years ago) link
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 January 2005 16:35 (fourteen years ago) link
"l'avventura" is a deserved classic. though the way that antonioni links his character's psychological states with their environment is, IMO, no more poetic than, say, what anthony mann achieves in his james stewart westerns.
― a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Thursday, 20 January 2005 17:48 (fourteen years ago) link
― jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Thursday, 20 January 2005 18:16 (fourteen years ago) link
Well, the retro is in town, and like I did with the Fellini fest last year (even though it wasn’t asked for), I’ll use this board to catalogue my thoughts about the films.
The opening gambit was a doozy, with five nights of films. They were:
Antonioni: The Vision That Changed the Cinema- A doc about the man done for Italian TV in 2001. Loads of behind the scenes footage and vintage interviews including a priceless conversation with Monica Vitti from the early sixties wherein she goes into detail about all the mishaps that occurred while shooting L’Avventura.
Short Films by Antonioni, Part I- A collection of seven early shorts, including his famous studies on the Po Valley and the street sweepers of Rome. I also enjoyed a piece on Superstitions and another on the fumetti. Have these ever been anthologized?
Story of a Love Affair-The first feature, a riff on The Postman Always Rings Twice. Lucia Bose is a perfect femme fatale. SEARCH
L´Avventura- Not quite as awesome this time around. Some of my favorite moments (like the men on the street scene) have lost some mystery. My favorite bits this time are all about Vitti: when she meets Massari’s father after the disappearance; singing along to the radio; and when she wanders alone around the hotel room, stopping for a moment to make faces in the mirror. Still, SEARCH
Le Amiche- Also known as The Girlfriends, this is another genre piece, this time a soapy slice of life melodrama about a group of women and their lovers in Turin. Very well done, easily the equal of the period work of Vincente Minelli, or even Sirk. I get the feeling that had Antonioni kept doing films like this, he could have one day ruled Hollywood. But then this series probably wouldn’t exist. Anyway, this one was my favorite discovery in the retro so far. SEARCH
I Vinti- Three stories, respectively set in France, Italy, and England, about crime and immoral youth. The most interesting thing about this is the pure feeling of each installment. The French one is like an early New Wave film, the Italian episode has a taste of Neorealism, and the English bit strongly recalls Hitchcock-- not to mention Blow-Up. Worth a look if you ever get the chance. (not on DVD)
The Lady without Camellias- another one not on DVD, this one is nasty look at the star making machinery of Italy. Lucia Bose stars as a shopgirl turned movie star who becomes a prisoner in a gilded cage after getting conned into becoming her producer’s trophy wife. Ivan Desny steals scenes as the producer’s business partner. His dialogue about grafting a romantic subplot into Bose’s Joan of Arc vehicle was the biggest laugh for me over the weekend. SEARCH
On deck: Il Grido, Red Desert, and La Notte (Which I’ve seen before and found a bit dull)
― C. Grisso/McCain, Thursday, 6 September 2007 17:01 (eleven years ago) link
I have Beyond the Clouds outta the library (I liked it when it came out).
― Dr Morbius, Thursday, 6 September 2007 17:55 (eleven years ago) link
La Notte is worth it for a couple of catty exchanges between Moreau and Mastrianni those shots of Jeanne Moreau walking blankly around the city that Pauline Kael derided (too many shots of Moreau's bum or something).
L'Eclisse, which I saw for the first time when Criterion released it last year, is wondrous.
― Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Friday, 7 September 2007 02:58 (eleven years ago) link
Il Grido-Apparently this is the one Kael really loved. Kind of an atypical film from him, seeing as it focuses on the working classes. This is also the first time he didn’t do a basic genre film per se, although it does forecast downbeat 70s road movies like The Last Detail and Payday. Possibly Antonioni’s darkest and most brutal film. So SEARCH of course
Red Desert- My biggest problem with this one is Monica Vitti, who at times appeared to be trying too hard to sell her character as “crazy”. That said, the film is a dazzling collection of images and has a few great set pieces, like the story about the girl and the beach, the seduction scene, and especially the sequence in the shack. Starting out silly, and developing into a little nightmare, I wouldn’t have minded if they had stretched that whole sequence into a movie of it’s own (ala The Exterminating Angel). This film is kida like Antonioni scooping Juliet of The Spirits, but better. SEARCH, particularly if you get a chance to see it in a theatre.
La Notte- I’ve come around a little on this. There was a speaker beforehand who mentioned that some considered this film to be Antonioni’s answer to La Dolce Vita, which makes sense, given the participation of Mastrianni and a few parallel scenes. I had forgotten how great the party sequence (which takes up the last half of the film) was, and Vitti’s performance was one of her most appealing. Moreau’s walk around town seemed like filler though, although overall her performance is fine (besides, who else could convey her character’s highs and lows as eloquently?) SEARCH.
This series has been quite something so far. This week brings L´Eclisse, Blow-Up (both of which I like very much), and a rerun of Red Desert.
― C. Grisso/McCain, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 16:37 (eleven years ago) link
― Dr Morbius, Thursday, September 6, 2007 1:55 PM (4 years ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
i took this out of my library & couldnt even get through it; something abt john malkovich as a stand-in 'director' character having a sex scene w/ sophie marceau is really o_O 2 me (tho i guess this storyline was wenders creation?)
the making-of doc on the dvd is p good tho, looks like everyone had a ball making it so idk good 4 them~
― johnny crunch, Tuesday, 17 January 2012 23:38 (seven years ago) link
something abt john malkovich as a stand-in 'director' character having a sex scene w/ sophie marceau is really o_O 2 me (tho i guess this storyline was wenders creation?)
I remember reading a comment on another forum re:this scene w/the poster having the same problem until they remembered that IRL at the time Marceau was still involved with Andrzej Zulawski, who was a bit older & ergo made that scenario in the film more plausible or at least not such a stretch for Marceau to perform.
That making of doc is wonderful. Mastroianni is so animated, it's kind of a shock he'd be gone not long after.
― Lady Writer, Male Seether (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 18 January 2012 03:19 (seven years ago) link
I loved L'Avventura, was disappointed by La Notte and L'eclisse even more so, and really didn't like Blow-Up. Where should I watch next, if anything?
― flappy bird, Thursday, 1 March 2018 05:43 (one year ago) link
ha ha *What
Red Desert, or maybe one of the early ones.
Oh, and The Passenger!
― ...some of y'all too woke to function (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 2 March 2018 03:25 (one year ago) link
Identification of a Woman was mesmerizing... gonna check out Red Desert and The Passenger asap.
― flappy bird, Thursday, 14 June 2018 17:13 (one year ago) link
S: L'avventura, Red Desert, The Passenger, Identification of a Woman
D: Blow-Up, La Notte, L'Eclisse
tbd: Zabriskie Point + all the others
― flappy bird, Monday, 23 July 2018 06:08 (eleven months ago) link