July 31, 2007

Michelangelo Antonioni, 1912-2007

Not yet another day, and already another lion of the cinema has left us. The news is almost too sad to bear. Italian auteur Michelangelo Antonioni, one of the true cinematic artists, died Monday at his home in Rome according to various Italian news media outlets. This news hits me particularly hard, as Antonioni is a filmmaker whose work, whose visual style, has influenced my own creative process and aesthetic taste immeasurably. There are many who consider the films of Antonioni cold, vague exercises. Pure examples of art house pretension. I strongly disagree. Of course, his films are works of true beauty. Blow-Up, L'Avventura, L'Eclisse, The Passenger, each of these I would rank as amongst the most hauntingly beautiful, meticulously composed films ever made, and also amongst my personal favorite films of all time.

Yet Antonioni, for all who would condemn him as a simple aesthete, truly understood, more so than any other filmmaker, human alienation. It courses, like a haunted, disembodied soul, through his films. I will write no more, as I am truly at a loss for words. I need some more time to come to terms with this. In the meantime, if you have never seen an Antonioni film, what better time than now to introduce yourself to one of the most pure artist of the film form. Antonioni, you will be deeply missed.

Obituary @ New York Times
An Analysis of Antonioni's Career (Senses Of Cinema)
Critical Analysis of Selected Film Works (Strictly Film School)

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