Michelangelo Antonioni

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Zabriskie Point Trailer

The late 1960s - Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California, United States. A boy and a girl meet in seclusion in an isolated corner of the desert and indulge in sexual and chemical experimentation. Mark (Mark Frechette) is wanted by the police for allegedly killing a policeman during a student riot, and Daria (Daria Halprin) is a property developer that is intent on helping develop land in the desert to make new homes. This turns Zabriskie Point into both a symbol of the future and a safe refuge from the outside world. 

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Classic Films To Debut On Hulu Plus

Akira Kurosawa Alfred Hitchcock Ang Lee Brian De Palma Charles Chaplin David Lean Federico Fellini Fritz Lang Ingmar Bergman Jane Campion Jean-Luc Godard Jim Jarmusch John Cassavetes John Ford Jules Dassin Louis Malle Michelangelo Antonioni Orson Welles Peter Weir Robert Altman Stanley Kubrick

Some of the greatest films ever produced will now become available for streaming on Hulu Plus, the $7.99-per-month subscription service launched last year by Hulu, the company owned jointly by Disney/ABC, Comcast/NBC Universal, News Corp./Fox, and Providence Equity Partners. Hulu said Tuesday that it has signed a deal to bring the highly regarded Criterion Collection to its video website. The collection includes classic films by Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Charles Chaplin, Louis Malle, Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini, David Lean, John Cassavetes, the Maysles brothers, Jules Dassin, Robert Altman, Jim Jarmusch, Michelangelo Antonioni, D.A. Pennebaker, Fritz Lang, Brian De Palma, Stanley Kubrick, Peter Weir, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Jane Campion, Ang Lee, John Ford, and hundreds of others. In a statement, Eugene Wei, who hold the title of Hulu's senior vice president of audience, called the Criterion Collection "the preeminent distribution brand in the minds of movie buffs." Hulu is making some of the films available immediately at www.hulu.com/criterion.

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Zabriskie Point Review

In Osha Neumann's memoir of his time as a '60s anarchist radical, Up Against the Wall Motherf**ker!, he describes the scene in 1969 as one of considerable change. He writes, "The season of love, rage, and extravagant expectations was coming to an end... hard drugs replaced LSD. The young dropouts had a nervous, ragged edge... Optimism was giving way to a tight-lipped struggle for survival." Students were taking to the streets and there was a paranoid energy in the air. Anything could change at any second.

It was like living on a powder keg.

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Closure Of Antonioni Museum Angers Family + Fans

Michelangelo Antonioni

Plans to permanently close a museum dedicated to Michelangelo Antonioni have angered the late Italian filmmaker's family and fans, just two weeks after he died.
The Antonioni museum in Ferrara, Italy was closed for refurbishment in 2006, but a lack of funding now means it will not re-open.
Located in the Blow-Up director's hometown, the museum contained several of Antonioni's short films and thousands of photographs he took on movie sets.
Ferrara Mayor Gaetano Sateriale says, "We can instead consider establishing a film museum in remembrance not just of Antonioni, but of many other directors who chose Ferrara as a movie location.
Antonioni, 94, died at his home in Rome on 31 July (07).

Stars Pay Tribute To Antonioni At Funeral

Michelangelo Antonioni Wim Wenders

LATEST: Iconic filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni has been laid to rest in his native Italy, with stars including director Wim Wenders and actress DANIELA SILVERO in attendance.
Antonioni - renowned for his Oscar nominated 1966 movie Blow-Up - died peacefully at his home in Rome on Monday (31Jul07) at the age of 94.
His funeral was held on Wednesday (01Aug07) at Ferrara's San Giorgio cathedral in northern Italy with his actress wife Enrica Fico leading the hundreds of mourners who had turned up to pay tribute to the director.
Referring to his filmmaking skills, Fico told the mourners at the ceremony, "His look was very special, truly unique."
German moviemaker Wenders hailed the 1995 film Al di la Delle Nuvole, which he had co-directed with Antonioni, as an experience "beyond the clouds".
He says, "Michelangelo introduced me to Ferrara. I realised how much light came to his mind and to his eyes from this place.
"It's hard to summarise what the maestro left. Certainly, he created a new image of the 20th-century man."
Blow-Up star Silvero also paid her respects to the director, saying, "He was a great friend. For cinema, especially Italian cinema, he represented everything."
Antonioni has been buried next to his parents' grave in the town's cemetery.

Eros Review

A triptych of short films, all on the subject of eroticism, sounds tantalizing, so it's too bad none of the shorts contained in Eros actually hits its mark. This despite the fact they were separately made by three of the most renowned directors of the past 40 years: Wong Kar Wai, Steven Soderbergh and Michelangelo Antonioni. What they manage in their individual shorts in Eros are but minor variations on themes and aesthetics already well explored in their own full-length films.

Wong Kar Wai's bluntly titled "The Hand" and set in his recurring milieu of early '60s Hong Kong, follows Zhang (Chang Chen), a humble tailor's apprentice, over his years-long infatuation with a beautiful socialite-turned-prostitute, Miss Hua (Gong Li). Kar Wai's treatment is aesthetically fussy, in keeping with his well-known style, but dramatically bland. There simply isn't much at stake here as the timorous Zhang must be content with the, ahem, hand jobs (see title) he receives all too rarely from the object of his infatuation. Now, hand job scenes (even in non-porno cinema) can be extremely erotic because of what they offer and what they only tease at (for a convincer, see the relevant scene in Michael Heneke's otherwise awful The Piano Teacher. Wow!). In any case, the segment's manually operated pseudo-erotica provide the only spike in an otherwise indolent story that never substantially conveys its central concern: Zhang's steady sexual awakening and his unshakeable devotion to an unavailable woman. Still, Kar Wai's fabulously crafted sound and imagery are both par for the course for this director and his world-class cinematographer, Christopher Doyle.

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The Passenger Review

The ads for Volkswagen declare that "on the road of life, there are passengers and there are drivers," the gist being that there are people who lead and take charge and others who are content to stare out the window and let things happen.

If the passenger became a driver, could he or she handle all the metaphorical responsibilities that go with it? That question is central to Michelangelo Antonioni's re-released The Passenger (1975) and the answer provides a sobering glimpse into the souls of the contenders who foolishly wish for that second chance, that empty stretch of road, and don't have any idea where to start.

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L'Eclisse Review

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.

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L'Avventura Review

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.

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The Mystery Of Oberwald Review

A minor work of Michelangelo Antonioni, The Mystery of Oberwald is not something many outside the Antonioni-obsessed will care to seek out. Shot on videotape in 1980, the movie once stood as a daring experiment in feature filmmaking by using the nascent format of tape. Today, it looks cheesy and cheap, akin to a low-budget soap opera shot in a hurry.

And soap opera isn't far from the mark. Oberwald's story, based on Jean Cocteau's play L'Aigle a Deux Tetes, involves a mourning queen (Antonioni regular Monica Vitti) whose husband has recently been killed. An assassin is on her tail as well, but when the two finally meet, she sees he has been injured, and owing in part to his resemblance to her late husband, the two fall in love, Romeo & Juliet style. Like I said, a soap opera.

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