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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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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It was like living on a powder keg.
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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).
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.
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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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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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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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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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.
Continue reading: The Mystery Of Oberwald Review