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Tribute: Michelangelo Antonioni, 1912-2007

August 01, 2007
Dr Krishnan

With the passing away of Michelangelo Antonioni another legend passes on. Film buffs will fondly remember his large, slightly garish, occasionally opaque body of work.

L'Avventura, made in the postwar period was a bleak black and white evocation of a society devastated by war. No one who saw the movie can forget the Sicilian church-bells tolling menacingly and a mob of lumpens eyeing the heroine. But the movie did have an upbeat ending.

Zabriskie Point made during the late sixties was unashamedly leftist. The scene in which a cop spells Marx as "marks" although a trifle crude was telling. The film featured a soundtrack from contemporary artists like Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, and the Rolling Stones.

In 1989, he made a twenty-minute documentary, Kumbh Mela, which was poorly received for it's lack of narration and lack of depth.

His most famous movie, Blow up had no real message hence was more visually exciting. Vanessa Redgrave as a svelte model, London trendy albeit a little seedy, and a very ambiguous ending led to several conjectures and arguments. Jaane bhi do yaro, Kundan Shah's tribute to Antonioni's Blow Up was too loud.

Hist last films were post his 1985 paralytic stroke, and Wim Wenders assisted him in the completion of Beyond The Clouds, following which he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 1996, presented by Jack Nicholson, with whom he had made The Passenger.

The maestro passed away peacefully on the same day as another great director, Ingmar Bergman.

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Tribute: Michelangelo Antonioni, 1912-2007

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Author: Dr Krishnan

 

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#1
epicure
August 1, 2007
02:56 PM

Blow Up was the only Antonioni film I saw in my not so callow youth. I must say I was captivated by its vitality and 'differentness'. Dr. Krishnan, (may one call him 'Doc', what else?!)has touched a chord in noting Antonioni's passing - one would wish that Doc would take this forward by reviewing an Antonioni film...

#2
Aaman
URL
August 1, 2007
10:41 PM

Indeed, Doc is quite a film buff, among his other pursuits - we should hope for a film directors review series from him - Tinto Brass, Bresson, etc.

#3
temporal
URL
August 2, 2007
07:18 AM

my favourite antonio film is the passenger

in his own words:

"I consider The Passenger my most stylistically mature film. I also consider it a political film as it is topical and fits with the dramatic rapport of the individual in today's society."





#4
sridhar
August 4, 2007
10:51 AM

Doc,

Thanks for writing a short pithy tribute to Michelangelo Antonioni. To me, Antonioni was at his brilliant best when he portrayed the failure of love through his four films L'Avventura,La Notte,L'Eclisse, and Il Deserto Rosso.The expression of forlorn love is best embodied in Monica Vitti who combines entropy with visual lust.

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