Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Passenger"
September 9, 2012 2:48 PM   Subscribe

[all links may contain SPOILERS] Antonioni's unique style works beautifully in The Passenger. The dream-like long takes, especially the final seven minute one where the dusty town square is seen through the barred window of Locke's hotel room—evokes a world that he is barred from. There is nothing romantic or sentimental about the space that we see, but it conveys a sense of an ongoing life that Locke has chosen to retreat from. There is also Antonioni's eye for aesthetic detail-for whitewashed walls of buildings, and vividly colored backgrounds like yellow doors and red car seats. He is a director of great formal rigor and beauty, whose style effortlessly suits his vision. The slow rhythm of the film may put off some viewers, but it forces them to be more observant, and understand there is nothing accidental in the images that Antonioni constructs. - Leonard Quart

In many circles regarded as one of Antonioni's lesser ennui-infected efforts, the director's crowning masterpiece is actually something akin to a career summation, merging form and content in such marvelous harmony that the film's beguiling, espionage-tinged mystery becomes a mere afterthought when compared with the way said narrative's thematic preoccupations are echoed by its deliberately disorienting structure. - Nick Schager
posted by Egg Shen (8 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
This link has details on Jack Nicholson's acquisition of the film and subsequent handling of it.
posted by Egg Shen at 2:49 PM on September 9, 2012

There was a Mefi thread about L'Avventura a few weeks ago. Antonioni seems to be in the aether lately.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:32 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

- People disappear every day.
- Every time they leave the room.
posted by growabrain at 3:37 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Zabriskie Point reviewed.
posted by ovvl at 5:14 PM on September 9, 2012

Better every time I see it.
posted by Rash at 6:06 PM on September 9, 2012

Great film. Sad ending.
posted by rmmcclay at 8:21 PM on September 9, 2012

Such a great film. One that's experienced rather than watched. I love Antonioni, there is always such a feeling of vague dread in his films, and you know you'd better pay attention or you'll be left in the dust, even though the pacing is always so seemingly leisurely.
posted by biscotti at 5:25 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Awesome. Never enough Antonioni threads in my book. Thanks!
posted by Skygazer at 4:08 PM on September 10, 2012

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