View Full Version : Blow-Up

03-16-2004, 01:34 AM
Antonioni's film has all the charm of the mid-1960's. A music video, without the music. Yes, that "mod" look was in, wasn't it.

This film had so much impact on so many filmmakers that even to this day; many scenes from this film, which are repeatedly used so often by other filmmakers, have become cliches; like Black Nuns wearing white robes running into mimes (if you the significance of those images, then you either scored a 99 or higher on your film theory test, or you spend far too much time inside a theater, home or otherwise!)

The fashion photographer, man about town, drives a Rolls Royce (which he carelessly parks where ever he wants), is sexually ambivalent, and plays coy with everyone he meets, was my idol. Imagine sitting around with a very young and sexy topless Vanessa Redgrave, smoking pot, drinking wine, and being just plain cool. Hemmings was more than idyllic, he was profound and vivacious at the same time, being the embodiment of a new generation of artists, willing to try anything for sensation. His character embodied this spirit of that trendy and emerging time. Who knew that just a few years later, that emerging entity would switch to anger and violence, from peace, love and dope... man.

Going beyond the dialogue, you have Antonioni's pacing, his sense of camera, shooting inside very tight spaces, and taking his camera up close... very close up.

Long before todays filmmaker discovered they could move the camera and not "lock it down", Antonioni was shooting great stuff, much of it captured on Blow-up.

We can fault the film for being slightly dated and corny at times, (the mimes are SO Italian!) but no one can denied the sense of drama created by the still frames of a few photographs. No soaring violins. No marching drums. Just the wind.... and a dead body.

03-16-2004, 05:54 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.
Blow-Up had everybody taking notice.

You mention pacing- this is probably the reason this film succeeds.
Antonioni knows exactly when to hit the viewer. His style was/is riveting. L'Avventura had all the critics raving that he had created a new cinematic language. Blow-Up confirms his ability to have a viewer in the palm of his hand. This is another film in a long list that I wish I could see again for the first time.

I'll never forget those languid scenes of Hemmings in his darkroom, peering at his developing photos. It's the sublime suspense Hitchcock achieved very fleetingly.....

03-16-2004, 10:05 PM
Unfortunately, the DVD release this past week is a bare bones affair, with little to offer in the way of features. The transfer also suffers from gradient problems at times. During one scene, it is almost disconcerting to watch Vanessa Redgrave's face change color several times in the same shot.

The negatives said, this is still an interesting film to watch if for nothing else than Antonioni's clever plot trick, which actually carries the film for the most part.