films seen
7
average score
1.92*
nationality
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Solid pieces

Eros

2004 / 104m - France
Drama, Romance
3.5*/5.0*
Eros poster

Dubious filler

The Eclipse

L'Eclisse
1962 / 126m - Italy
Drama, Romance
2.0*/5.0*
The Eclipse poster

One of Antonioni's better films, but I keep struggling with his somewhat unalluring characters, and the overall noisiness of Italian cinema. There are moments when I managed to get into the flow of the film, usually when everybody was quiet and going about their business.

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Vittoria is a young woman who breaks off the relationship with her longtime boyfriend. When she visits her mother at the stock exchange, she meets Piero. He is interested in Vittoria, but she isn't immediately won over by this slick-looking stock broker. He is so persistent that Vittoria finally caves.

Monica Vitti and Alain Delon are both solid, it's just that I never really cared that much whether they got together or how their relationship would fare. Maybe it was the something dull juxtaposition of their characters that left me cold, but it wasn't until the finale that I actually felt some emotion.

The Night

La Notte
1961 / 122m - Italy
Drama
2.0*/5.0*
The Night poster

Not as bad as I expected. I'm not a big Antonioni fan, and the idea of an Italian couple spending the night at a rowdy party didn't sound too appealing. But the film is surprisingly restrained and though the drama itself didn't really do anything for me, there are some memorable moments here.

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Lidia and Giovanni are a married couple whose relationship is slowly deteriorating. They promised to attend a party, but when they visit a dying friend beforehand it is clear things are going to spiral out of control. As the evening progresses, the vibe between then becomes increasingly toxic.

I didn't care much for the characters, nor their marital troubles, but Antonioni keeps things pretty subtle (which isn't my experience with classic Italian drama). The black and white cinematography is solid and there are some beautiful shots, the dialogues feel somewhat forced though, and the runtime is a bit excessive. Not the worst though.

The Lady Without Camelias

La Signora Senza Camelie
1953 / 101m - Italy
Drama
2.0*/5.0*
The Lady Without Camelias poster

An early Antonioni. I was glad to see his work is a bit different from the typical neo-realist films that were all the rage in Italy at the time, on the other hand I'm not really a big fan of films about the film business either, as they tend to get a little too self-indulgent (and whiny). For the most part, Antonioni seems to avoid that pitfall.

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The cinematography is stark and clean, but a little uneventful. The same can be said about the soundtrack. For someone who's described by many as a "mood director", I'm not quite convinced of Antonioni's skills yet and The Lady Without Camelias didn't do much to change that feeling.

Performances are decent (and surprisingly subdued) though and the plot was interesting enough to keep my attention. I can't say I was completely intrigued, but it never started to drag and it even managed to get a little better near the end. It makes for a solid, though rather basic drama. If I'm honest though, I expected worse.

Plain forgettable

Blow-Up

1966 / 111m - UK
Drama, Mystery
1.5*/5.0*
Blow-Up poster

Only my second feature-length Antonioni, this time in color and in English. Sadly it didn't make that much of a difference, while I understand the film's historic significance I found the actual result to be quite underwhelming. I do believe it did explain a thing or two about Antonioni's segment in Eros, which I felt was by far the weakest in that anthology.

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It's always a bit of a gamble when directors make a film in a language that isn't their own. It's no surprise then that the performances felt very stiff and unnatural. Redgrave and Hemmings looked incredibly uncomfortable and uncertain of what they were supposed to be doing, which is not a good start for a film that spends so much time circling its main character.

Blow-Up is very much a mood piece though, a true relic of the 60s. That's pretty cool for people who like the 60s, personally I couldn't care less. The music was atrocious, the cinematography looked rather grim and the fashion and styling were ugly as can be. And even though there are a handful intruiging scenes, they are few and far between, and they get completely overshadowed by the ones that miss their target. Not impressed.

Red Desert

Il Deserto Rosso
1964 / 117m - Italy
Drama
1.5*/5.0*
Red Desert poster

Antonioni is clearly a stylist, but not to a degree where the cinematography can really carry the film. It all comes down to the characters and their problems then, who never seem to gel with me. Spending two hours with the cast of Red Desert is quite the ordeal, not good for a drama.

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Giuliana is suffering from depression. She wants to make a change in her life, so she starts an affair with an employee of her husband's factory. He seems to be the only one who understands what she is going through, while the other people in her life are making light of Giuliana's troubles.

Though the styling is pretty precise, the drab colors and somewhat crude editing do the visuals no favor. The performances are pretty weak, the characters didn't grab me and the pacing is dead slow. It's not all bad and at least Antonioni has a clear point of view, the drama just isn't for me.

Big nopes

L'Avventura

1960 / 144m - Italy
Drama, Mystery
1.0*/5.0*
L'Avventura poster

My first Antonioni, not a big success. The black and white cinematography doesn't do justice to the beautiful setting, the acting is mediocre and the dialogues feel forced. It all stands in the way of the drama, which is cold and lifeless. And why this needs to be 140 minutes long, who knows ...