Movie Review – L’eclisse

L’eclisse (1962)
Written by Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, Elio Bartolini, and Ottiero Ottieri
Directed Michelangelo Antonioni

How can you love another person in the wake of fascism’s horrible rending of humanity? Loving someone when the death camps of the Nazis are just a train ride away? That feels impossible. Michelangelo Antonioni struggled with this as a human being, an Italian, and an artist. He was fully cognizant as Mussolini’s regime distorted and warped the Italian mind, working in league with other monsters. Antonioni stood in what was left of Italy and looked around. He saw a landscape pulsing with an aura of dread. Yet, somewhere inside of that was love. People whose hearts were aching for it but too scared to reach out. When they did, the hand recoiled quickly, overwhelmed with the anxiety of the love being offered to them as yet another mask obscuring the horror of existence in the modern world.

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Movie Review – La notte

La Notte (1961)
Written by Michelangelo Antonioni, Ennio Flaiano, and Tonino Guerra
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

You often hear a cacophony of right-wing voices decrying “modernity,” speaking to disaffected & disillusioned people about how this abstract concept is wearing away at their “simple” lives. What even is modernity? It can mean a myriad of things, but in each definition, it is always a rejection of the current forms & systems for a new design. When these pundits speak about modernity, they do so in the context of post-industrialization. For most people alive today, they or someone older in their family can recall a time of factories of a strong working class in America. Today, America doesn’t produce anything tangible. We’re dumping it all into crypto & NFTs or tearing a box of unopened Pokemon cards away from a child because this will be the investment that gets me out of the hole, right? We’re selling ourselves as a brand, streaming 24/7 because fame will be what gets me out of debt, right? We’re going above & beyond what the boss asked because if he sees me putting my soul through the office paper shredder, it will help me have enough money to not feel like dying every morning when I open my eyes to go through all of this again, right? The right-wingers are correct that modernity is a problem, but they certainly offer you zero solutions other than to give them what little money you have for things you don’t need. That is also modernity. Modernity may have done away with the old gods, but in its place, it just offers some plastic ones made in a sweatshop by children whose hands have been gnarled by their labor.

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Movie Review – L’avventura

L’avventura (1960)
Written & Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Michelangelo. He was born to a wealthy family in Ferrara, Italy. He played with the local children, who weren’t rich, and he remembered them fondly for the rest of his life. Before he died, he was married twice, made some movies, and even had a long relationship with one of his actresses. In July 2007, he passed away. Oh yes, before that, when he was a young man in Rome he worked at Cinema, the official Fascist film magazine of Italy run by Mussolini’s son. This should have been a job that Michelangelo was born for, but he was fired a few months later. He was eventually drafted into the Italian army when World War II began. Oh yes, this one is important too: He survived being condemned to death as part of the Italian resistance against the Fascists. He learned some things in that life of his.

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