Fucky Film Review!

The Red Desert

Posted by Web Manager on August 2, 2008

Michelangelo Antonioni 1964

It sort of depends on which Antonioni films you’ve seen, and what you’ve thought of them. Most people start with BLOW UP, which concerns a fashion photographer in swinging sixties London who may or may not have witnessed a murder. I like BLOW UP, but don’t find it particularly mind bending. His other famous movie, L’AVVENTURA, had a pretty intense impact on me, and remains the example keep coming back to when I think about how composition (and blocking) can be used to tell a story in film. Antonioni made two other films around the same time as L’AVVENTURA – LA NOTTE and L’ECLISSE – that are sometimes regarded as some kind of unofficial trilogy. I like LA NOTTE better than L’ECLISSE, but good minds disagree. I see RED DESERT as a continuation of the trilogy into the world of color. In this sense it is very experimental and connected to the time in which it was being made. There are some wonderful scenes – particularly the one in the fishing shack pictured at left. But overall, as a movie for a movie’s sake, it does not deliver very much besides the conclusion that Monica Vitti is no less beautiful in color.

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