DVD - 2001 | Italian | RSDL dual-layer ed. Widescreen version
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Story about the search for a girl lost on an island; the searchers gradually become preoccupied with their own problems.


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Jan 04, 2021

Although it was practically booed off the screen when it first premiered at Cannes, Michelangelo Antonioni’s plodding reflection on modern alienation has since been lauded as one of arthouse cinema’s seminal works. He certainly changed the way movies were supposed to look like, most notably by his lack of a clear beginning, a definitive ending, and a coherent script with which to join the two. With characters as flat and tedious as their dusty surroundings, Antonioni’s true artistry lies in his mastery of presentation. Aided by cinematographer Aldo Scavarda’s keen eye, every frame is a study in hard manmade geometries set against asymmetrical landscapes where neither the sun nor a downbeat jazz score are able to dispel the film’s aura of gloom and fatalism. Not a mystery despite the opening premise, we gradually come to realize that both the dour Anna and the cold thrust of rock on which she disappeared are more metaphor than substance causing us (supposedly) to question what, exactly, has gone missing. Indeed, Antonioni crowds his opus with several such images of disconnect and detachment: a village of empty buildings, a church’s refuge barred and locked, and a swank hotel which, over the course of a night’s entertainment, is transformed into a mess of dirty dishes, jumbled furniture, and dead plants—a wilted Eden if you will—in which our protagonists have to endure yet another fall from grace (enter blonde Claudia’s brunette doppelgänger). Not to be outdone, nature herself joins in the fray with a whirlwind here, a tempest there, and a string of barren islets which prompt one partygoer to remark how terribly lonely islands must be, all isolated and surrounded by nothing but water. Get the connection? Visually engaging yet lifeless and studied in presentation, this anomie and lack of passion may very well be the point of the film. But if that’s the case time has done little to sharpen it.

BernardN_KCMO Apr 02, 2020

I notice that a lot of the comments about this film speak of it being boring. I'll admit that it is a film that doesn't have much in the way of action. That said, this film is amazing. When I first saw the film in college, I was at first puzzled by the film, but at some point about an hour in, I found myself mesmerized.
This is a film which if it is shown on TCM and I happen upon it while channel surfing stops me in my tracks. If I do happen upon it, I know that I'm doing nothing but watch the rest of the film before moving on with my life.
Who would think that a film ultimately about human alienation could be so compelling?

Nov 29, 2019

Very slow and inscrutable, but Anotonioni's masterpiece nonetheless and one of the great European films of the 1960s. Forms a loose trilogy with "La Notte" and "L'Eclisse."

Nov 04, 2019

This B/W film by Italian master Antonioni is over half a century old. And at about 2.5 hours it is a long one focusing on the man/woman relationship of three individuals. However, despite its age, this disc does offer good visual clarity. I personally would like it to be reduced to under 2 hours to make it a tighter film. Otherwise, it is watchable and does offer good Italian cinema from that time period. And if you are a fan of Monica Vitti, don't miss it.

Jun 04, 2019

The mark of a great film is that it stands the test of time, which this picture does brilliantly. Great acting, solid story, all nicely done. Bravo!

Oct 09, 2017

Antonioni seems to follow Hemingway's dictum of not showing everything: ' the tip of the iceberg, seen, implies the rest of it, hidden below the surface.' He frames shots well, and he has some gorgeous people to lens. The critic included on the soundtrack mentions also Robbe-Grillet, the French realist novelist, as an influence. The second disc features a small segment of audio of Jack Nicholson, who is cheery. 2nd disc also has essays by the director, and a documentary, and Cannes footage as well. this is a full meal, cineastes. Bon Appetit.

Jul 06, 2017

An awkward and often boring film; the plot goes undeveloped and the characters don't have any consistent motivations; it seems ultimately to be about forgiveness and acceptance of others' qualities, even if (or when) they cause hurt (this judgement is based on the final scene).

Jul 05, 2017

This is the film that helped make Michelangelo Antonioni one of the greatest directors of the 2nd half of the 20th century. He almost went bankrupt and almost didn't finish it. If he had not completed this film, we may never have heard of him. I'm only giving it 4 stars because I am probably too dense to understand everything that is going on. Maybe this is the first big film in which the director purposely does not explain to the audience the real motivations of the protagonists. For me, he seems to be forcing each viewer to make his own interpretation.

Feb 13, 2017

This was my first Antonioni film, and I'm going to explore him further. There is much more going on than meets the eye at first, but you know he's working with age-old human themes. The visual style is stark but full of meaning. Listen to the commentary on the second go-round. Monica Vitti is mesmerizing.

Dec 18, 2016

One of Antonioni's best, and one of the stand-outs in film history.

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