Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Michelangelo Antonioni (1912 - 2007)

Another master movie-maker breathed his last on the evening of the same day, Bergman expired. Michelangelo Antonioni, the Italian auteur, expired on 30th July, 2007 at the age of 94. Whatever little I have seen by him has made me like his dreamy and elegant style. Martin Scorsese appropriately called him 'A Poet with the Camera'.

'Blowup' (1966), his first movie in English, is one of the most stylish depiction of an era and place in cinema history...London in the 60's bursting with rock music, smoke and nudity. The movie went on to inspire many later filmmakers, most notable of them (for us, Indians) is Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. Bergman loved this one! (am referring to 'Blowup')

'Il Grido' (The Outcry) made in 1957 is the story of a man's inability to forget the woman he loves. Shot in black & white, with a brilliant soundtrack by Giovanni Fusco (Can somebody tell me how can i get hold of the soundtrack?) it sometimes tends to be very slow. But, heartaches are a slow killer. Bergman didn't like this one!

I shall try and pick up more of his works, specially the famous ones like La Notte (The Night) and L' Avventura (The Adventure). I love this photograph of him.


Smiling Dolphin said...

you really love the movies, don't you? thanks for the education on these two directors. i am such a donkey, i haven't yet even seen cheeni kum, missed the premiere, and now am hoping to get an autographed dvd to make up!

meraj said...

movies are good fun. someday, i shall make one too.

am glad you are liking these self-indulgent posts. 'cheeni kum', in my opinion was a good sure you will like it.

junk said...

I have L'avventura; it is heavily inspired by bergmann, who, on the contrary, as mentioned in your last post, so heavily decries it. The tone, the mood and style of the movie is extremely similar to bergmann. I' have to concede that I didn't find it too great either, it becomes a bit dull after a point of time, which is never true about bergmann's movies.

as for cheeni kum, i found it extremely disappointing after your recommendation. With bachchan and tabu, with paresh rawal to spruce it up, the beginning of the movie promised a lot, But halfway down, the cliches and melodrama cama into play again, I couldn't beleive that annoying kid, she was more irritating than the one we used to talk about (burning train et al),her presence was a disaster for the movie.

Smiling Dolphin said...

look forward to seeing the movie you make one day, meraj.

phish said...

ah. antonioni. do you see anyone in the current crop taking things forward? i have seen glimpses of genius in some new filmmakers. but much have succumbed to the glitter of commerce.

and even in india we are struggling after ray and ghatak, and whatever people might say i find adoor gopalakrishnan boring, repetitive and he takes himself way too seriously.

meraj said...

I enjoyed Cheeni Kum for the interaction and chemistry between Tabu and Amitabh. rest of the stuff, including that kid is quiet unnecessary.

lets see when that happens :)

meraj said...

thats a good aspect for discussion....

Indian scenario:
Shyam Benegal is well past his prime (Bose was enought to tell us that).
Almost agree with you on Adoor...but he comes up with some real gems.
Bollyood: some guys who have the abitlity to come up with good stuff are : Sudhir Mishra, Anurag Kashyap, Rajkumar Hirani, Vishal Bhardwaj and Ashutosh Gowarikar (though Somehow, I dont expect much from Akbar Jodha)
Bengali scenes: I like none...all of them are pseudo, unoriginal and illegitimate kids of Ray or Ghatak. Aparna Sen shows some brilliance at times, but most of it is borrowed from the old masters.
Tamil movies: Mani Ratnam (despite Guru) is one of the finest directors that we have. Like Rehman in music, he has given a new language to Indian movies.

lets keep the International scenario for tomorrow, as I need to get into a meeting. Cheers!

meraj said...

International Scenario:

Hollywood: apart from the 4 mentioned by Bergman, there are a few guys whose movies I look forward to....guys likeDavid Lynch, Coen Bros.,Oliver Stone, Sydney Lumet and Gus Van Sant and Wachowski Bros (Matrix is one of the most landmark movies of our times)

Britain: Michael Radfird, Terrence Davies

International: those couple of Iranian moviemakers, Majidi and Kiarostami. then you have the master from Hong Kong, Wong Kar Wai and the Spanish Pedro Almodovar. I cant recall the name of one Japanese director whose known for his animated movies...Spitited Away?