Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Italy/France, 1960. Cino del Duca, Produzioni Cinematografiche Europee, Societé Cinématographique Lyre. Story by Michelangelo Antonioni, Screenplay by Michelangelo Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, Tonino Guerra. Cinematography by Aldo Scavarda. Produced by Amato Pennasilico. Music by Giovanni Fusco. Production Design by Piero Poletto. Costume Design by Adriana Berselli. Film Editing by Eraldo Da Roma.
Michelangelo Antonioni went from journeyman to auteur with this exceptional masterpiece, and after forty years it still causes as much fury as it did at its Cannes premiere. Monica Vitti and a group of her aristocratic friends take a yachting trip in the Adriatic during a beautiful Italian summer. Vitti’s best friend Lea Massari goes missing without a trace when they stop to rest on a small rocky island, and now she and Massari’s boyfriend have to go in search of her. Soon enough they are engaging in a guilt-ridden affair of their own. Antonioni’s exploration of the boring, sterile and alienated life of the Italian upper-classes is difficult and slow, complex and mesmerizing. His use of sounds and images is pure hypnotism, drawing you into an emotionally turgid universe that is devoid of any major events. Don’t go looking for a resolution to the missing-girl mystery, because this film has bigger emotional fish to fry. One of the finest and most unconventional films ever made.
Cannes Film Festival Award: Jury Prize