Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Blow-Up (1966)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: David Hemmings,Vanessa Redgrave & Sarah Miles
Thomas: Don't let's spoil everything, we've only just met.
Jane: No, we haven't met. You've never seen me

Film #22 of The December Project

Earlier this month I rewatched Brian De Palma's 'Blow Out' which is one of my favorite films,At that point I decided it was finally time to go back and watch Michelangelo Antonioni's 'original' film, 'Blow-Up'.

Thomas is a professional and avid London photographer, one day while roaming an almost empty park he sees a young beauty accompanied by older man. Thomas photographs them but the woman seems startled and requests the photos, Thomas agrees but only for a later date. While examining the photos, Thomas realizes that there is a figure lurking through the bushes with a gun, and that he may have stumbled onto something far more serious than he could have imagined.

I don't think its right to compare Antonioni and De Palma's films, they are two completely different beasts. While De Palma's film throws you head on into murder and mystery and doesn't hold off until the credits begin to roll, Antonioni's film is much content to take its time and build an unsuspecting atmosphere. This caught me off guard to begin with, I was expecting the mystery to begin from an early stage, but it isn't till around 70 minutes or so that it actually kicks in, and honestly it is never really that present.

The absence of mystery never really bothered me though, because I was really interested in the character focus of Thomas, he seems to have a very desolate existence and chooses to escape through the lens of his camera, who can blame him. It doesn't hurt either that the character is played by brilliant actor David Hemmings.

The film is absolutely gorgeously shot, the shot types are perfectly adequate and you get a genuine feel of 60's Britain. I also enjoyed the score, but I liked the silence even more especially in the beautiful scenes in the park, the silence is perfect during these creating omnipresent ambiguity.

As I mentioned before, I really like David Hemmings and I think is absolutely brilliant, I immensely enjoyed following his character throughout the film. The film also has a nice side cast including Vanessa Redgrave, who is just terrific in her short role.

'Blow Up' was not the film I expected it to be, but I really did not mind, I had a good time with this and was completely immersed in the beauty of the film. I said I didn't think it was fair to compare this to De Palma's 'Blow Out', but if I had to I would say that 'Blow Out' is far superior and just more thoroughly enjoyable, but this is still a good watch.


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