MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI (1912-2007)

Today is sadder than yesterday.

Michelangelo Antonioni has died. With Ozu, Dreyer and Eisenstein, he was one of the four greatest film artists of all time. Antonioni was 94.

Just three years ago, he made one of his loveliest works: “Michelangelo’s Gaze.”

“L’eclisse,” the single most essential film for understanding the sixties, is among my five favorite films. No one can hope to understand me either without embracing this film. “L’avventura” also places among my fifteen favorite films.

“L’avventura” begins and “L’eclisse” completes cinema’s greatest trilogy. The wonderful middle film is “La notte.”

“Netteza urbana,” “Il grido,” “Il deserto rosso,” the film known in the States as “The Passenger” (which is in English), “Identificazione di una donna”—these are among Antonioni’s other great works.

“Zabriskie Point”? Isn’t it time, now, for us to revisit it? I suspect it isn’t as bad as we remember.

Michelangelo Antonioni’s cinema is gracious, precise, expansive, humane.

I don’t know where Ingmar Bergman, who died yesterday, ended up. But Michelangelo Antonioni has joined Dante Alighieri in Paradiso.

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