Saturday, December 21, 2013

Blow-Up (1966)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Writers:  Michelangelo Antonioni, Julio Cortazar, Edward Bond, Tonino Guerra
Cast:       David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles

It is the swinging sixties and a successful fashion photographer in London finds something interesting to do as he inadvertently photographs a murder happening without realizing it. But does it really interest him as he drifts off again and again due to minor distractions.

The plot is a sideshow and the film is really about how isolated and detached the character is from the world around him. The murder should be something that would shook him up but all other characters in the film end up distracting him from the main event of the film and finally the body also disappears leaving us wondering whether he imagined the entire thing. The final scene with the mime actors, where he watches an imaginary tennis match and finally when the camera focus on his face we hear the sound of tennis balls being hit kind of suggests that it is a case of perception versus reality. He himself vanishes from the field as the credits roll out.

The film was Antonioni's first in English and is considered a landmark film with its explicit nature breaking the production code set by the industry. The film didn't get the  code approval but MGM released it anyways. The film's critical and box office success led the code to be abandoned in favour  of the MPAA film rating system.

Rating: 4/5