Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Red Desert” (1964) speaks on the Industrial Age through a despondent lens. The film introduces themes of alienation and temptation paralleled with the unavoidable consequences of technological advancements in society. 

Infectious diseases, pollution, and poverty are represented through differentiated visions of reality. The ideas of capitalism versus socialism and the transitions in between are key points in the film. 

“Deep down, one doesn’t really know what one believes in. One believes in humanity...in a certain sense. A little less in justice. A little more in progress.”

Trapped in depression’s inescapable grip, Giuliana pursues Corrado Zeller, a coworker of her husband. A tentative relationship turned passionate exposes the emotional turmoil and paranoia of the time. 

“Because it’s poisonous.” “You mean if a little bird flies there, it’ll die?” “The little birdies know by now.”
“I can’t look at the sea for long or I lose interest in what’s happening on land.”

Antonioni’s twisted depiction of nature’s destruction speaks loudly to current environmental and social issues. Chemical clouds set the scene as the past begins to fade into the future. Pureness, at this point, is a distant reality. 

“There’s something about reality, and I don’t know that it is. No one will help me.”
“There’s something about reality, and I don’t know that it is. No one will help me.”

 

Red Desert
director MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI
year 1964
director of photography CARLO DI PALMA
cast MONICA VITTI and RICHARD HARRIS

 

words KELLEN MULCAHY

 

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Alana Celii

Alana Celii