Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Antonioni: Three Scenes

Every film that Antonioni shot has at least one sequence that is, at the very least, totally awe inspiring and never less than extremely moving. Here are three of the most celebrated.
First up are the final shots of L'ECLISSE which is one of the most memorable endings in all of screen history. No shot is repeated and the silence is overpowering, this is film making at its most subtle and finest.

Next up is the closing sequence from ZABRISKIE POINT. Set at first to silence and then to Pink Floyd's CAREFUL WITH THAT AXE EUGENE. This is simply one of the most mind blowing series of shots ever committed to celluloid, with Antonioni bravely exposing the materialistic baggage we carry with us constantly as the disposable junk much of it is. I still find this series of shots to be as breathtaking as anything in cinema, or art in general for that matter. The sixties end here.

Finally the astonishing final one shot take from THE PASSENGER. I saw this on the big screen a couple of years back and it caused me to audibly gasp. Before CGI made the impossible very boring, this amazing and magical sequence stands as a reminder of the possibilities of cinema.

My tribute to the late and already much missed Michelangelo Antonioni will continue tomorrow. Thanks to the people who have been reading and helping me pay tribute to this extraordinary man.


Rogue Spy 007 said...

Great clips. This is some stunning work here by Antonioni. The only of these films I've seen is L'Eclisse. It is a superb ending. All of these clips are wonderful. There aren't many films like this made anymore.

cinebeats said...

Such wonderful clips! L' Eclisse and The Passenger have two of the most amazing endings ever captured on film in my opinion.

I just MUST see ZABRISKIE POINT now! I've wanted to see it since I was in college in the late 80s and it's making me crazy lately that it's evaded me. Now with Antonioni's death it seems even more urgent that I see it.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks to you both for the continuing comments. I think these three scenes are simply amazing. Even after hearing how it was done, that shot from "The Passenger" is still one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen.
I do wish they would get "Zabriskie Point" out on disc...it is insane that it isn't available...thanks again for the thoughts

colinr said...

Just beautiful! I would buy a DVD of Zabriske Point in a moment. Even if some of the film has dated (strangely something that I don't feel about L'Avventura and L'Eclisse, which somehow continue to feel of the moment), that final sequence should be considered one of the greatest in all cinema - the greatest shots of destruction of all time (perhaps because unlike in many action films where things are just blowing up for spectacule the destruction here also has meaning, beauty and gives us the last insight into the character's psyche)

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Colin and kudos for your fascinating comments over at the Criterion forum...I am always really impressed by how intelligent and well expressed your posts are over there. Great enlightening stuff...