A PILOT’S RETURN (Roberto Rossellini, 1942)

“I need a depth of field which perhaps only the cinema can give, and to see people and things from every side, and to be able to use the ‘cut’ and the ellipsis, the dissolve and the interior monologue. Not, of course, that of Joyce, but rather that of Dos Passos. To take and to […]

LOVE IN THE CITY: ATTEMPTED SUICIDE (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953)

In 1953 Cesare Zavattini produced L’amore in città, which comprises six short films, each by a different filmmaker, in one instance, two filmmakers, one of them Zavattini, who also contributed to the scripts of all but one of the films. The “city” is contemporary Rome.      Michelangelo Antonioni wrings from the omnibus film’s overarching theme of […]

L’AVVENTURA (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)

Antonioni launched cinema’s greatest trilogy with The Adventure. Two souls, her lover, Sandro, and her friend, Claudia (Monica Vitti, Antonioni’s partner and muse at the time, phenomenal), search for Anna, who is missing from their party on an uninhabited island. In the course of this adventure, the two become a couple and lose the thread […]

THE OBERWALD MYSTERY (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1980)

Experimenting with video, Michelangelo Antonioni based his Il mistero di Oberwald on L’aigle a deux têtes, which its playwright, Jean Cocteau, himself filmed (boringly) in 1948. Gorgeously videographed by Luciano Tovoli, this color work—a symphony of filters—reunited Antonioni with Monica Vitti, who is brilliant as a nineteenth-century queen whose King Frederic, age 25, was assassinated […]