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 Post subject: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:08 pm 
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MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI
(1912 - 2007), Italian

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"Antonioni's work stands as a challenge not just to all of the cinema, but to all contemporary artists."
- Roland Barthes

"His bold masterly style transcends pictorial mannerisms to achieve a metaphysical resonance and rigour."
- The Director's Vision


FILMOGRAPHY
1950 Cronaca di un amore
1952 I vinti
1953 La signora senza camelie
1955 Le amiche
1957 Il grido
1960 L'avventura
1961 La notte
1962 L'eclisse
1964 Red Desert
1966 Blowup
1970 Zabriskie Point
1972 Chung Kuo, Cina
1975 The Passenger
1981 Il mistero di Oberwald
1982 Identificazione di una donna
1995 Beyond the Clouds (with Wim Wenders)


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:58 am 
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Updated.

My relative ignorance of Antonioni's films and shallow appreciation of the ones I have seen is one of my greatest embarrassments as a cineast, but also one of my greatest excitements, knowing I have a huge, rich personally uncharted territory left to conquer.


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:17 am 
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Location: Just a humble motherfucker with a big ass dick.
I've only seen The Passenger, so I've also got a lot of territory to cover. Looking forward to the slowest 141 minutes of my life when I watch L' avventura.


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:25 am 
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yessir drew! I was bored with him at first, but the more I kept watching his films the more I understood and he has crept up to be one of my fav directors. I think the greatest thing that can happen is when you finally grasp a director's way of doing things, then it just hooks you like a fish. I recommend trying the other films in his trilogy (which you don't need to see in order really) as they are much more accessible than L'avventura. Outside of that, Red Desert is a personal fav of mine.

Recommended film for beginners would obviously be Blow-Up, which is pretty much to him as A Man Escaped is to Bresson, applying their style to thrilling plots and the protagonists actually do have a goal they're trying to reach. The Passenger is the American film that seems to be more rooted in his pinnacle work and seems to be a truer representation of his stylistic goals as a filmmaker, and serves as another good starting point (tho harder to take in than blowup). If you're going Italian though, I suggest going La Notte or L'eclisse, or if you're in the need for sensory overload, go with Red Desert.


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:00 pm 
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Dreww, the image you added didn't work, so I removed it.


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:20 pm 
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George has been suggesting that I watch Beyond the Clouds for about a year now, but I finally caved and watched it last night. I'm appalled at myself for putting it off this long and appalled that it isn't more acclaimed because it's the best film I've seen from Antonioni and one of the best films I've seen in general. I think the segments that Wim Wenders directed (all of the ones more showing Malkovich as a director rather than showing a love interest) are noticeably weaker than the ones by Antonioni, but it still all fits together. I do think the distinction made at the beginning of not being a philosopher but being someone who is attracted to images and has to photograph something before he knows it is a very important one to appreciating this film, because its genius is very much in its visual nature. The way these couples walk away from one another, come back to one another, tease each other, stand next to each other is so beautifully organized that it can really only be compared to the best music. You can feel so much pushing and pulling between them, sometimes gently and beautifully, sometimes loudly and chaotically, but always beautifully staged with great insight. One term Carney has used to describe great art is it's like experiencing the breathings, reversals, qualifications, and impulses of a very sensitive mind, and that's exactly what this felt like. It's really a masterpiece. Too bad that many people dismiss it as a dirty old man movie, but I guess I can only consider myself lucky for being able to cherish something that many are unwilling to connect with.


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:27 pm 
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Dreww wrote:
The way these couples walk away from one another, come back to one another, tease each other, stand next to each other is so beautifully organized that it can really only be compared to the best music.
indeed, now you understand why i linked it with that gorgeous luciano cilio piece.
i also think the movie is very architectural in nature, like much of antonioni - i mean the way he manages to capture space (esp. open space) and the atmosphere within it... and the way every scene is like an edifice... i mean there's absolutely nothing in the way of the plot (as far as i can recall) - nothing horizontal or linear in his movies... they're all about space... (and perhaps, to a lesser extent, stillness of time, or at least extremely slow time)

any impressions from the first love scene?

(i'd still love the movie if it wasn't there, but i think it is what makes it one of my very favorite movies of all time.)


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:30 pm 
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The first couple was absolutely my favorite part of the film precisely for the way it plays with space. Antonioni has a very deep connection to space in terms of the overall atmosphere but also in terms of the human relationship to space: how we in living necessarily take up space and create meaning based on how we move through that space and all the people and things and forces in it. It is the physical spaces between these two characters that Antonioni is molding to express some sort of tension in human sexuality that we have yet to put our finger on in concrete terms. I am not sure that he has described something precisely as it happens in life in a photorealistic way so much as he has felt an energy and created an artistic expression to chase after and point towards it, and he accomplishes that with masterful virtuosity. I love the sense that these two meeting is some kind of weird miracle but at the same time something that was inevitable. She is trying to get to the city, turns on the TV in her hotel room, and demands that what she wants from him is words. He is trying to get away from the city, speaks of sunsets, and cannot express things in words, demanding physical satisfaction. Because he cannot give her words he rushes in too quickly and it turns her off... both of them are too locked into their own ideas of what they think they want to pay attention to the delicate movements of the moments. When he leaves and comes back they finally allow themselves to start paying attention to those movements, but for some reason cannot take it to the end... It doesn't seem to explain and it doesn't need to. It is beautiful and I believe the best thing Antonioni has done.


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:53 pm 
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i'll just add that the idea of a love scene where the two attempt physical closeness and engage in the act without ever touching each other even once manages to be more erotic and spiritual (and tragic) than all the love scenes i've ever seen put together. i suppose there's a lot in it that could be read into, but i'll take your cue and not pour banality over something so beautiful.
(your last line reminds me of what bergman said about tarkovsky: "he doesn't explain...what should he explain anyhow?"
perfectly true of this, too.)


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:09 pm 
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Oh no, I am not so much concerned that in attempting to explain it we may inadvertently turn it into a banality, but praising it for not loudly accounting for itself. I think we can safely discuss what it may mean since the sequence, like the best Tarkovsky, is open enough to allow for a rich multiplicity of truths and survive the possibility that any one of them may be a banality on its own (though I'm not sure that they would be banalities anyway). My own take on that scene was that perhaps for him, the way he just floats barely over her is the closest he can come to communicating appreciation for her in the way she wants it to be communicated. He's incapable of doing it in words, and she has forbidden him to do it through just giving in to his sexual appetite, so he does this very unusual but yet incredibly charged thing instead. And while it is one of the heights of eroticism and spiritualism and tragedy in cinema, it also seems to have an element of combativeness and spite in it as well. Antonioni allows for it to be all of these truths at once without at the same time losing beautiful detail and resonance. I love how the scene does not point us towards any one clear meaning, but allows the movement and tone itself to be the foundation from which these other ideas can float around it without pinning it down.


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:23 pm 
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Oh man L'Avventura and L'Ecclise are too good.


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:16 am 
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<33


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:35 am 
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starting to like him more


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:19 pm 
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damn straight


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 Post subject: Re: Michelangelo Antonioni
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:22 am 
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La Notte was excellent.


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