Saturday, November 2, 2013

Blow-Up (1966)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Julio Cortazar, Tonino Guerra

Composer: Herbie Hancock

Starring: Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, David Hemmings, John Castle, Jane Birkin, Gillian Hills, Peter Bowles, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Julian Chagrin, Claude Chagrin

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Sometimes reality is the strangest fantasy of all.

Plot: A successful mod photographer in London whose world is bound by fashion, pop music, marijuana, and easy sex, feels his life is boring and despairing. Then he meets a mysterious beauty, and also notices something frightfully suspicious on one of his photographs of her taken in a park. The fact that he may have photographed a murder does not occur to him until he studies and then blows up his negatives, uncovering details, blowing up smaller and smaller elements, and finally putting the puzzle together.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  I don't know...I think so.

I had the pleasure of seeing this in a theater (and for the first time) and that's the way to see it.  It's wild.  I love the 60s London scene, the great, mod clothing, styles, pretty faces, cool music, the dialogue, character actions, etc.  Thomas (Hemmings) is a real cad.  He's one of those extremely selfish types that you love to hate kind of like Michael Caine in ALFIE (1966) but faster and more sadistic.  This is a visually stunning picture.  The rest of it I'm not sure about.  I let myself be taken on a ride as I often do but this one left me with questions that I almost wasn't sure I cared enough to know the answers to.  Did Thomas really witness a murder or was it all in his head?  Was this his way of trying to find meaning in something where his own life had none?  Was that the reason behind his obsession with discovering the truth?  Was there a truth to discover?  Did this incident change his life?  Does he become a better person or does he remain the same shallow man with 4 ounces of talent?  I'm not convinced he saw what he thinks he saw.  He's just making shit up to fill a void but he believes it.  I'm sure a second viewing might answers some of these questions.  Perhaps in a couple of decades I'll give it another spin.  

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