Michelangelo Antonioni movies at LACMA
“Modernist Master: Michelangelo Antonioni,” is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (website) retrospective honoring the Italian filmmaker, whose body of work includes revered classics such as the cryptic L’Avventura , the cryptic-er Blow-Up, and the cryptic-est Identification of a Woman / Identificazione di una donna.
Besides the aforementioned films, “Modernist Master: Michelangelo Antonioni” will also screen the solid (and quite accessible) melodrama The Girlfriends / Le amiche , which offers remarkable performances by Eleonora Rossi Drago and Valentina Cortese; Il Grido, a downbeat drama with American import Steve Cochran and Alida Valli; La Notte , a merciless dissection of a marriage, starring Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, and Antonioni’s muse, Monica Vitti; and Red Desert / Il deserto rosso , starring Vitti and Richard Harris in another examination of the human incapacity to connect.
Michelangelo Antonioni himself is scheduled to attend the Saturday, September 17, screening of Enrica Fico Antonioni’s 57-minute 2005 documentary Being with Michelangelo.
All feature presentations in the Michelangelo Antonioni series will have new 35mm prints. All screenings begins at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. See schedule below, with film information via LACMA.
Modernist Master: Michelangelo Antonioni
Friday, September 9
Cronaca di un amore (Story of a Love Affair) (1950/b&w/110 min.) w/ Lucia Bosé, Massimo Girotti. Two lovers conspire to kill the woman’s suspicious husband.
Il Deserto rosso (Red Desert) (1964) w/ Monica Vitti, Richard Harris. A traumatized woman, in a desperate search for love, has a brief affair with the owner of a factory that her husband manages.
Saturday, September 10
L’Avventura (1960) w/ Monica Vitti, Gabriele Ferzetti, Lea Massari. During a yachting party, a wealthy young woman argues with her architect lover and then disappears from the Sicilian island they’d been exploring.
Short Documentaries, 1943-1950. Gente del Po, Nettezza urbana, L’Amorosa menzogna; Superstizione; Sette canne, un vestito, La Villa dei mostri, Vertigine, and fragments of La Funivia del faloria. This selection comprises all the films made prior to Michelangelo Antonioni’s first feature.
Friday, September 16
Le Amiche (The Girlfriends) (1955) w/ Eleonora Rossi Drago, Gabriele Ferzetti. A young woman returns to her native Turin to open a fashion salon where she falls in with the “smart set.”
Il Grido (The Cry) (1957) w/ Steve Cochran, Alida Valli. A violent and inarticulate laborer drifts from job to job in the Po Valley following the breakup of his marriage.
Saturday, September 17
La Notte (1961) w/ Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, Monica Vitti. Mastroianni plays an exhausted Milanese novelist coasting on his reputation, and Moreau plays his disenchanted wife.
Being with Michelangelo (2005/DVD) Dir: Enrica Fico Antonioni. A moving and intimate portrait of the master shot and edited by his wife. Special Guests: Michelangelo Antonioni and Enrica Fico Antonioni.
Immediately preceding La Notte: The Gaze of Michelangelo (2004) A piece of sculpture provides the context for this “dialogue” between Antonioni and his Renaissance namesake.
Friday, September 23
La Signora senza camelie (The Lady Without Camellias) (1953) w/ Lucia Bosé, Gino Cervi, Andrea Checchi. The “lady without camellias” is a Milanese shop girl who is discovered by a sleazy movie producer.
Identificazione di una donna (Identification of a Woman) (1982) w/ Tomas Milian, Daniela Silverio. A filmmaker searches for two women: one to inspire his new film, the other to replace the wife he has divorced.
Saturday, September 24
L’Eclisse (The Eclipse) (1962) w/ Monica Vitti, Alain Delon. A tailspin in Rome’s stock market serves as the backdrop for a love affair between a translator (Monica Vitti) and her mother’s stockbroker.
Beyond the Clouds (1995) dir: Michelangelo Antonioni, Wim Wenders; w/ Fanny Ardant, Irène Jacob, John Malkovich, Sophie Marceau, Jean Reno, Peter Weller, Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau. In a style that seems at once literary and musical, Antonioni juxtaposes four tales of love and loss in contemporary France and Italy.
Friday, September 30
Zabriskie Point (1970) w/ Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Rod Taylor. A rich college “drop out” flees to Death Valley in a stolen plane after his plot to kill a policeman fails.
Blow-Up (1966) w/ Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, David Hemmings, Jane Birkin. David Hemmings plays a disaffected fashion photographer who stumbles on a murder while taking pictures of a couple kissing in a shadowy park.
“Modernist Master: Michelangelo Antonioni” photos via the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.