Michelangelo Antonioni 1912—2007
With its fleeting nudity and subversive narrative, Blowup was hot stuff, “adults only” material condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency, an organization my mother adhered to diligently. What can I tell you? The woman had problems.
Blowup is Antonioni’s masterpiece. There isn’t a bum frame in the entire film. Of his other work, there are highs and lows…but the appeal is in the eye of the beholder. I have great affection for Red Desert (1964) and Il Grido (1957), but need to revisit La Notte (1961), which has nearly faded from memory. The one element stressed in these and other films is space, a surrounding expanse that can swallow us whole. Isolation, contamination and corruption as an aura rather than tangible negatives…did Antonioni believe the environment was consuming him?