Elio Bartolini

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L'Eclisse Review


Very Good
It's impossible not to sound like a snob when writing about Antonioni's movies -- hell, the guy's name is "Michelangelo" -- but writing about the spare L'Eclisse is the worst job of all.

Antonioni's films rarely vary from a tight thematic script that ranges from melancholy to loneliness to despair. In L'Eclisse, he focuses that beam on Monica Vitti, an almost stereotypically detached Italian woman whose engagement falls apart in the opening scenes of the film -- though it's virtually without dialogue for 15 minutes. Eventually Vitti's Vittoria hooks up with Piero (Alain Delon), and the remainder of the film concerns their relationship -- as it were, anyway.

Continue reading: L'Eclisse Review

L'Avventura Review


Essential
Clap, you bastards! After the receipt of scathing reviews during its initial presentation in Cannes, the urban alienation of Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura feels more prevalent than ever. Look around at society and you'll find a collection of bored automatons plugging away at jobs they hate, returning to bourgeois homes and values as a mask to disguise their malaise. If Fight Club didn't have Brad Pitt and Edward Norton smashing each other's faces in as catharsis, their lives might resemble those of Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti) and Anna (Lea Massari), a couple who can barely make love without distraction.

In their perpetual search for fun, this unhappy pair are all giggles as they embark on a yacht trip near Sicily, swimming and exploring a nearby island. Anna finds amusement in yelling "shark" when her friends are bathing, just to see if there's any life in them. "Throw up your head and then you'll wake up in the Dawn of the Dead," indeed. No wonder Anna claims she wants to be left alone.

Continue reading: L'Avventura Review

Il Grido Review


Good
One of many duds from Michelangelo Antonioni, this time a two hour affair with a laborer who gets dumped by his married girlfriend after her husband dies, then takes off on an inexplicable road trip to find himself. Which he never does. In typical Neorealist fashion, Steve Cochran's Aldo bumbles from bad to worse, eventually croaking after two full hours of misery. Not much artistry is exhibited along the way; other Italian films from the 1950s have told this story ("Life sucks.") with more aplomb.
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