Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: Red Desert (1964)

Film: Red Desert (152/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

After being pretty disappointed by L'Eclisse, I wasn't looking forward to this one. The plot synopsis read like more of the same. I approached it wish a "let's get this over with" attitude. And I couldn't have been more wrong. This film had more of a plot for me to get absorbed in, and I was blown away by Monica Vitti's performance. I've always appreciated her face and her presence, but this was the first time I really got to see her sink her teeth into a role. Also great was Richard Harris (who I embarrassingly enough couldn't place for half the movie...I know him as Dumbledore, okay?)...just the way he looked at Vitti's Giuliana was everything. But ultimately it wasn't about him, although his character might want it to be. Giuliana reminded me of Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence...a fragile woman overwhelmed and confused by a loud world. She frustrates those around her, she frustrates herself, she doesn't know how to exist. In her words, "There's something terrible about reality and I don't know what it is. No one will tell me." It's a compelling performance in a beautifully made film. Okay, Antonioni, I guess I'll give you a second chance. 

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