Sublime Monica Vitti shines in Antonioni's abstract masterpiece
11 January 2011
Summary: Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's 1964 piece 'Red Desert' is, on the surface, a film that deals with the changing face of the world under rampant industrialisation, but far more than that it's a comment on alienation and human adaptability in such a society. Guiliana (played by Monica Vitti) is the wife of petroleum plant manager Ugo.
Summary: Michelangelo Antonioni is often referred to as a director whose work is not for all tastes. Well, what artist is? What the utterer of such sentiments usually means is that they do not 'like' his films, because they are not filled with insipid action, worse dialogue, lack of character development, etc.
Summary: "The present is always wanting, which makes it ugly, abhorrent and unendurable. The present is obsolete. The moment it lands in the present, the coveted future is poisoned by the toxic effluvia of the wasted past." – Zygmunt Bauman Michelangelo Antonioni's "Red Desert" opens with an out of focus shot. We're at an industrial estate, the earth poisonous, the sky toxic, factory fumes snaking their way up into the air.
Summary: Antonioni’s fourth film in a row with muse Monica Vitti sees the actress in perhaps her most difficult role yet; her co-star was Richard Harris: it was certainly interesting that the director wanted him so soon after having achieved stardom with Lindsay Anderson’s THIS SPORTING LIFE (1963) but, in retrospect, his is a part that anybody could have filled in adequately.
Summary: "Il Deserto Rosso" should be more known among Antonioni's fans - it's a remarkable film - in the beginning we see a woman (Monica Vitti) with her little son wandering in an industrial landscape.............. She's married to the manager of the factory. She is losing her direction and sinking into panic and despair. Her husband, friends and even her little son are not enough for her to recover her sense of identity. She even tries an affair with a friend of her husband.
Does everybody have a film that is their template for how they view 'reality'?
2 February 2007
Summary: I first saw this remarkable movie when I was about eighteen/nineteen, when it first showed in London. At the time I was blown away and must have bored people at parties for ages telling them it was the greatest film ever made and that they should all see it. As now I was less able to give a particularly coherent reason why they would enjoy it but could only pass on my enthusiasm.
Summary: "Red Desert" (Italian, 1964): Michelangelo Antonioni made this film prior to "Blow Up", but you can see where he was headed. "Red Desert" is about a deeply troubled, beautiful woman who seems to have it all – including a stable, handsome husband, a precocious son, and fun, sexy friends.
Summary: For the most part, I've never been terribly impressed by the "new wave" movements in the French and Italian cinema of the 1960s. How many times do we have to watch the upper middle class intelligentsia wallowing in their designer-alienated angst? And why don't those films ever bring up any mention of altruism? Perhaps those folks wouldn't feel so alienated if they got off their seats at the cafe, or on their yacht, and actually tried to participate in the world.
Summary: If I could, I would deify this film. What most impresses me about a film is exhibited here to the utmost: mood. After this film is done, I feel completely destroyed. If you did not feel alienated from the world around you when you started, you will be by the end. If you were feeling alienated when you started, then you may just be contemplating suicide when the film ends. This mood is absolutely crushing.
Summary: Thirty-five years later, this film is amazing for many reasons, mostly perhaps for Antonioni's daring, bold, unique and amazing sense of colour. Great performances all around, great camera work, soundtrack - it's perfect. The theme is one that Antonioni has explored since his very first film: emotional, physical and historical alienation.