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Blow Up

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 09, 2008 08:10AM) (new)

I just watched Blow Up, a classic English film by Italian director Michaelangelo Antonioni circa 1967. It's a divider - you either love it or hate it, but I personally loved it. Very ambiguous look at fiction/reality and the different perspectives we hold, held together by a murder mystery plot. Anyone else seen it? Thoughts?


message 2: by Kajori (new)

Kajori Aikat | 4 comments Blow Up is fabulous, fabulous film. I watched it a long time ago but remember parts of it vividly, particularly the final scene where Hemmings watches a mimed tennis match at the very park where he had earlier photographed the "murder". It's so spookily beautiful and the fact that he puts aside the camera and picks up an imaginary tennis ball can be read at so many levels - the transition from onlooker to participant perhaps, or the nature of play versus reality.


message 3: by Ellorashree (new)

Ellorashree Maitrra Loved this film when I watched it. It's still on my top 20 list! One of the things I liked and remember about this film is its exploration of the ethical claims of photography as an art-form. It touches on at least three major uses for photography in the contemporary world - fashion, a vehicle for social consciousness, and forensic science - and brings these pretty disparate uses of the form to bear on its central question about the relation between photography and reality. And what better context than a murder mystery, given that genre's abiding investment in "outing" the "truth"! And, as Kajori pointed out, the figure of the photographer is crucial to the film's examination of the nature of photography. Isn't Hemmings a rather opaque character in the film in terms of his motivations, his investment in the medium and so on?

An aside: I'm wondering about the extent of this film's influence on other, later cinema. I know for a fact that in India, in the early 80s, Kundan Shah used the key plot element of A's film - the blow-up - in his hilarious satire on corruption, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. The film nods, in a charming serio-comic way, to Blow-up, most memorably in locating a crucial scene in "Antonioni Park."


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert | 51 comments "Blow Up" has been a very influential film, two of the more well-known nods in its direction being Coppola's "The Conversation" (which replace photography with sound recording) and DePalma's "Blow Out" (the same, only with film and sound...)


message 5: by Kajori (last edited Jan 11, 2008 04:27AM) (new)

Kajori Aikat | 4 comments Yes, Hemmings is rather inscrutable, but that is surely deliberate on Antonioni's part, don't you think? The pot, the music, the easy sex, the boredom, the frustration, the perpetual quest for fun - all bear the weight of the director's moral concerns. Antonioni is not very sympathetic to the unhappy plight of young city people! In L'Avventura too, it is much the same.


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