Thursday, March 08, 2007

La Notte (1961)

***
Italy/France

Michelangelo Antonioni was often able to come up with absorbing ideas and even to articulate them quite vividly, as he did in L'Avventura (1960). So in some way it's doubly frustrating when he veers into hollowness as he does in this, the second picture in his celebrated trilogy of bourgeois disenchantment. At the very least his visual style doesn't suffer - it's as sophisticated and finely tuned as his observations on the juiceless marriage of Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau (each exquisitely coiffed and playing in auto-pilot) are not. After two hours of sharing in their photogenic ennui, you become as bored and disheartened as they have. But you can't muster up any sympathy for characters who bury their heads up their own asses and then turn around to agonise over not having come across a human connection.

dir: Michelangelo Antonioni
ph: Gianni Di Venanzo
cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, Monica Vitti, Bernhard Wicki, Rosy Mazzacurati, Maria Pia Luzi

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