Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Antonioni - centenary

Michelangelo Antonioni centenary day: 29 September 1912 - 30 July 2007 - 94 years old (and of course 89 year old Ingmar Bergman died the same day ...).
The park, the studio, the photographs, the music .... we have done a lot on BLOW-UP (which I loved when I was 21 in 1967) here and on those early '60s Antonioni classics like his trilogy L'AVVENTURA, LA NOTTE, L'ECLISSE, and THE RED DESERT, plus my 1975 review of THE PASSENGER (when I was 30, see label).
1962 magazine, which I got when I was 16
The good thing now is all the features by Antonioni are available -  the Antonioni link here also has my reviews of his earlier films CHRONICLE OF A LOVE AFFAIR, THE LADY WITHOUT CAMELIAS - both of which I saw initially last year, as well as LE AMICHE and IL GRIDO, - and that I VINTI 1953 rarity, plus I TRE VOLTI, THE OBERWALD MYSTERY back with Monica Vitti in 1980, and BEYOND THE CLOUDS. I think that only leaves 1982's INENTIFICATION OF A WOMAN to re-see and that polarising film ZABRISKIE POINT.  It was marvellous seeing that amazing climax to to that on the big screen again several years ago at that last Antonioni retrospective in London - when we also could not see THE PASSENGER then - but at least that has been rectified now, and that documentary with the older, frailer director with that mesmerising statue of Michelangelo's Moses ....

Fellini, Moreau, Antonioni - Cannes 1960
Antonioni of course is with Fellini and Visconti one of that great Italian triumvirate who burst onto the international scene circa 1960, with their ground-breaking trio - L'AVVENTURA, LA DOLCE VITA and ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS - following on from Rossellini and De Sica. Then of course we had Bolognini and Monicelli and the rise of Pasolini and Bertolucci ... the new cinema world really began in 1960 with these new Italian classics at the same time as the French new wave and that new cinema in England, as Hollywood also re-discovered itself with those new directors from television, and of course Hitchcock also revolutionised cinema with PSYCHO ....

Now, as Hitchcock is more revered than ever (and VERTIGO is the new "Sight & Sound" number one - Antonioni's films too are available again, there is that plethora of books about them. I have also posted that 1961 article by Antonioni from "Films & Filming" magazine ....Antonioni remains the poet of landscapes and spaces - the endlessly fascinating Monica Vitti is also part of those films with that expressive face and voice, whether on that remote island in L'AVVENTURA or walking on the streets of Milan or Rome. Michelangelo, a native of Ferrara, certainly captures that new Italy in all its facets - just as Federico did with Rimini or Luchino in Milan, Right now though its back to that park in Woolwich, London and that perfect depiction of 1960s people ...

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