Viva Cinema August 9, 2007Posted by astralwicks in Antonioni, art, Bergman, Cinema, film festival, friends, London.
Antonioni and Bergman died on the same day. It was not co-incidence of course, but a great era came to an end. Quietly and peacefully. Two film makers from Europe who saw the great war, the great crime and the great appetite.
I haven’t seen all of their films. L’Aventurra, Blow up, L’Ecclipse and The Passenger of Antonioni.
L’Aventurra was a revelation. I had seen the film on VHS during one of the many film festivals that we friends used to organise. 30 films in 5 days kind of thing. We could keep our eyelids from betraying us and we watched some great cineme.
It was during one of those film binges that I had discovered Aventurra. I found it slow, ponderous and beautiful. I slept in the morning after a surfeit of film. At around 11 that morning a friend of ours visited and wanted to watch a film. Aventurra got played again. I was awake by then and then started watching it again. The small boat with the lovers on it sailed and then the girl gets lost and then something happened. I left the room and felt elation.
I had understood Aventurra. Through and through would be a presumptuous statement but Antonioni’s lifelong obsession to delineate the ‘architecture of relationships’ suddenly was made visible and accessible. Love, guilt, sin, loss, reconciliation and redemption of the characters became my own love, guilt…redemption.
Similarly with Blow-Up. Vast desolate colorful sexy lost loathsome playful grim gray murderous London. Where is the ball? Ah the mime shadow play of a herd painted and Dionysian. I watched it a second and a third time and had to give up and say that this onion is for an eternity. There is still The Passenger…another shocker. Antonioni’s films for me are as ferociously intelligent and condemnatory ultimately holding a speck of redemption as the aphorisms of Nietzsche.
Bergman, the playwrite from Faro who went on to make films that is as potent as any literature of the world. I was scared watching my 1st Bergman – obtuse, religious, symbolist, theatrical…came across too much like a pedant.
Wild Strawberries was cinema and much more. So were the others that I have watched. Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Autumn Sonata, Persona and Fanny and Alexander. There are more to be studied and fallen in love with.