Thursday, March 07, 2013

Michelangelo Antonioni: La Notte / Night (Part II)

A little more on Michelangelo Antonioni's masterful film, La Notte / The Night (1961). Besides the sheer delight of Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni and Monica Vitti in fraught existential meditation, look for the shapes and signs of civilization, part changing and part grounded in ancient culture.

Do we still startle at the sudden dropping into view or earshot of helicopters, jet fighters, flailing construction equipment?  Does a sudden cloudburst send you scurrying? 

Besides shapes, patterns, and careful observation, there's a relaxed jazz backbeat and another one of those strange Antonioni scenes involving constructions of race. In La Notte, two "black" performers do jazz-backed circus tricks while the married couple (Mastroianni and Moreau) look on dazedly, restrained by their own "white" limitations. If this doesn't make many people feel a little uncomfortable in 2013, probably nothing will.  

Pictured above: Giovanni (Mastroianni) looks on in horror as his possibly soon-to-be-ex-wife Lidia (Moreau) exchanges interesting thoughts with his possibly soon-to-be-new-paramour (Vitti), while simultaneously considering a job offer by the latter's ultra-wealthy father. All in a day's work for the writer. Imagine think bubbles floating above their heads. Earlier, when visiting Lidia's ex-paramour Tommaso as he lay dying in a hospital, Giovanni asks the poor man (a fellow writer, pumped full of morphine) if he really likes his new book? Then they drink champagne with his mother. Que Sera, Sera.

Today's Rune: Fertility.        

1 comment:

jodi said...

Erik, living practically under Selfridge Air Base has made me ammune to most loud noises. And don't you love it when the woman wears just a black, lace slip? I want to start a movement where that is normal. So very glam!