I VINTI
1953, Minerva Pictures, 113 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

Antonioni’s second feature is a key precursor to such famous later works as BLOW UP, THE PASSENGER and ZABRISKE POINT. Comprising three self-contained shorts, I VINTI dramatizes and alters true stories of murder and rebellious youth in France, Italy and England. For years the film (particularly the Italian segment) was banned or heavily censored around the world due to its politics and depictions of violence, but today it is celebrated for its frank portrayal of juvenile delinquency and crime. If the interference of anxious producers and distributors can still be felt, Antonioni’s singular vision of the isolation of Western youth culture is largely intact, making the film an essential part of his oeuvre.


L'ECLISSE
ECLIPSE
1962, Janus Films, 126 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

The concluding chapter of Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy on contemporary malaise (following L'AVVENTURA and LA NOTTE) tells the story of a young woman (Monica Vitti) who leaves one lover (Francisco Rabal) and drifts into a relationship with another (Alain Delon). Using the architecture of Rome as a backdrop for the doomed affair, Antonioni achieves the apotheosis of his style in this return to the theme that preoccupied him the most: the difficulty of connection in an alienating modern world.


STORY OF A LOVE AFFAIR
CRONACA DI UN AMORE
1950, Kino Lorber, 98 min, Italy, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

Antonioni achieved auteur status virtually overnight with this impressive feature debut, a passionate tale of forbidden love and betrayal. Ostensibly a film noir, inspired by James M. Cain's 1934 crime novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, it represented a bold departure from the still-prevalent Italian neorealist movement, and the director’s signature style is unmistakable. When a seedy industrialist (Ferdinando Sarmi) hires a private investigator to look into his wife’s past, events are set in motion that spark a lost romance between the young woman (Lucia Bose) and her former lover (Massimo Girotti). As with any Antonioni work, STORY OF A LOVE AFFAIR transcends the specificity of its storyline and delivers a powerful meditation on tragedy and human experience.


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