Sunday, November 20, 2005

Day 9: "Blowup"

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni 1966
A hip, emotionally detached photographer (David Hemmings) in Swinging London snaps some pictures in a park, then develops the film and realizes he has captured a murder in several of the shots. The best part of “Blowup” centers on the photographer increasing the size of the film to try to see what he has taken. But this is an Antonioni movie, not a murder mystery, so there is plenty of murky symbolism (pantomimes play tennis at the end, and Hemmings, an observer, “throws” the “ball” back at them—he’s no longer detached, get it?). “Blowup” has not dated well. Hemmings attends a party where people are smoking pot, only they act so out of it that you have to wonder if they weren’t ingesting large amounts of LSD instead. The Yardbirds appear at one point and get decadent by smashing a guitar because one of their amplifiers isn’t working. Rent Brian De Palma’s “Blow Out,” a 1981 riff on “Blowup” that’s a lot more entertaining--and thankfully has no mimes.


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