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.


L'AVVENTURA
1960, Janus Films, 143 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni invented new film grammar with this masterwork. An iconic and challenging piece of 1960s cinema, and a gripping narrative on its own terms, L'AVVENTURA concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the coast of Sicily, and the search taken up by her disaffected lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and her best friend (Monica Vitti, in her breakout role). Antonioni’s controversial international sensation is a gorgeously shot tale of modern ennui and spiritual isolation. The audience during the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival infamously shouted “CUT! CUT! CUT!” in multiple scenes; no one is shouting cut now.


IDENTIFICATION OF A WOMAN
IDENTIFICAZIONE DI UNA DONNA
1982, Janus Films, 128 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

In his last movie before his debilitating stroke (he did not make another feature until 1995’s BEYOND THE CLOUDS), director Michelangelo Antonioni follows filmmaker Niccolo (Tomas Milian) as he encounters, then loses contact with two beautiful women. On a search for both a committed passion and the ideal woman for his next film, Niccolo hungrily loses himself in sex but is unable to express love. With Daniela Silverio, Christine Boisson, Veronica Lazar, Enrica Fico (the future Mrs. Antonioni) and Marcel Bozzuffi. "The most openly erotic of Antonioni's features, and…one of the most beautiful (what he does with fog in one famous sequence is particularly memorable)…" – Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader.


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