Cinematheia on Michelangelo Antonioni

2 Posted by - September 21, 2016 - Articles

By Mavrokefalou Caterina

His name was called in the Oscar ceremony presented The Honorary Statuette in recognition of his place as one of the cinema`s master visual stylists, the reason of this characterization is perhaps his capacity to depict perpetual meanings and solemnly by the use of picture to highlight the most hidden but also simplest side of psyche.

Although an Italian in the postwar era he diverged from neorealism as soon as he made his first movie-documentary (Gente di Po 1943-47) and turned to more personal stories. Beginning with Cronaca di un Amore (1950) he took the most cliché but at the same time the most original topic· the one of romantic love and formulated it movie by movie in the complex everlasting question “Why has the plainest of feelings turned to something tremendously complicated ?”. In this way his shots are a stream of unsaid feelings that the characters are unable to express, creating both a superficial and internal void. Antoniomi has characterized Il Grido (1957) as his “pessimo film” because the dialogue was more extensive than necessary.

Regardless his tension to occupy with interpersonal relationships and the exhausted role of morality, almost all of his films have a social background, but only so as to create the appropriate environment to show the rotten moral routine and the glory of the space. In L`eclisse the two heroes are meeting for the first time in the feverish stock market where the economic postwar boom is taking place but the end of the film and their relationship comes with a long, calm almost documentarish shot of an empty neighborhood where they were supposed to meet but neither of them have showed up to confirm the vows of their love.

And then comes the Holy Triad (L`avventura 1960/La note 1961/ L`eclisse 1962) where the wider screen format helps him to depict more accurately the void which exists in the luxury that surrounds the characters and how they helplessly move in it, looking like dwarfs in a gigantic labyrinth. His camera unlike his characters is definitely speaking, even the shadows have a role in the imposing scenery, which is worthy of a Hitchcockian one but the difference in Antonioni`s ennui is that, there is no cause for every single act. His characters are lost- even real lost like in L` avventura· their motiveless acting is approaching the nature`s instinct that doesn’t command a logical and profound explanation. They are fighting constantly their fate trying to escape it ending up in a tragic Doppelgänger, as in psychology is determined the unescapably past that clings back the very moment anyone tries to get rid of it. That`s set more clearly in the Passenger (1974) , where the will to escape oneself is so intense that Locke indeed takes the passport and the life of his dead hotel roommate.

Antonioni undoubtedly respects the space and he lets it have a central part in his movies. Especially when color enters, it becomes not only more colorful but also more complete than ever· just take a look in Thomas’ walk in the park, which becomes so intense with all the hunting but still no music in the scene just the sound of leaves (Blow Up) also the color’s changes in the bedroom of Corrado before and after they make love (Deserto Rosso).

The absolute meaning of Antonioennui is the presentation of the paradox that is consisting of the personal chaos and the total releasement as the only way to escape of every standard ethic rule that the person himself has set and then trapped into it · with his intriguing space has managed to stigmatize every try to explain with specific terms the inexplicable and simple event of a temporary existence and its consequences by using the brimful modern life and characters that appearing in a tabula rasa situation, with no reference in their past.

 

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