“How can it take so little time to change, to forget?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
He points out that the “film is very slow-paced, has no real storyline, [and] uses dull dialogue to express the dullness of the uncommunicative characters.” He notes that while he personally finds “the film fascinating,” he now knows “better than to recommend it to the casual moviegoer.” Finally, Peary highlights the “mesmerizing photography by Aldo Scavarda.”
I agree that it’s easy to see how this “challenging” film would divide audiences. It’s gorgeous and provocative, but requires patience and some intentional analysis to appreciate the points its director seems to be making. According to Geoffrey Nowell-Smith’s essay for Criterion:
However, Nowell-Smith points out a crucial difference between Antonioni and Hitchcock’s approach: Antonioni did not provide easily discernible reasons or motivations for anything that happens (or doesn’t happen) to his characters; they simply exist and (inter)act. Antonioni followed up this film with three others also starring Vitti: La Notte (1961), L’Eclisse (1962), and Red Desert (1964); I’ll be reviewing and comparing those soon.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)