An incredibly quiet and funereally slow film, with ice-cold - indeed demented - main characters. Its gets much better, especially the last third of the film, with music, and coup de grace of the development of the theme at the very end with the 'note' of the title. Every single shot of the film is like a good photo (except that the image moves); very stylized visually, and its this visual element that makes it so worthwhile to watch. I must also give appreciation for including a mention of "The Sleepwalkers" (Broch).
One of Antonioni's best films and definitely worth watching the master at work. A classic film that still holds up after all of this time ( and is superior to most modern fare ). Labelling Antonioni's work as avante-garde ( " old school" or not ) is a misnomer inculcated by the ignorant- he was a modernist if anything- and at this point can be considered as one of the masters of the golden age of cinema in Europe.
I love this film. It embodies Italian cinema for me. It lingers with you for forever.
If you're into mid-20th Century films you'll want to see this one, because it's by one of the masters. Slow moving, almost plotless, all about human interactions and things unsaid. I can't remember now why I ever thought I enjoyed this stuff.
Writer/director Michelangelo Antonioni examines the final twenty-four hours of a disintegrating middle-class marriage and wrings it for all the angst he can get. Existentialist crises in these arthouse films usually engender a great deal of navel-gazing and despite its grandiloquence and sociopolitical allusions (a sense of anomie pervades every frame) this is pretty much all Antonioni delivers. Mastroianni and Moreau are perfectly paired however, their downbeat chemistry dragging the story forward while some sobering images underscore the subject matter: a femme fatale bedecked in her finest stands forlorn in the rain, guests cavort fully clothed in a swimming pool, and the Pontanos try to have an intimate discussion in the middle of a gargantuan traffic jam. Strictly old school avant-garde fare.
In American cinema...
the demographic audience is the
15 year old male...
Yes, they do not make them like they used to 'cause people aren't challenged
Bring-on the 'comic book super-heros',
computerized explosions, pyrotechnics,
poor scripts, poor acting and relish in the the mega-dollar returns!
I gotta Go...
You really have to be in the mood for a film like this as it moves at a rather glacial pace--compared with today's movies it is practically standing still--and at first glance doesn't seem to be about anything... Then you begin to realize that is entirely the point.
"La Notte" was made in an era when films meant much more than box office grosses and as the saying goes they don't make 'em like this anymore. But then masters of world cinema like Michelangelo Antonioni and uniquely gifted and expressive performers like Moreau and Mastroianni only come along once in a lifetime.
This is the middle film in Antonioni’s trilogy which begins with L’AVVENTURA (1960) and ends with L’ECLISSE (1962), all of which include Monica Vitta, with LA NOTTE also starring Jeanne Moreau and Marcello Mastroianni. LA NOTTE continues the same general theme as developed in L’AVVENTURA, that of a jaded and wealthy society at sea in a modern post-war Italian society framed in a landscape of modern and somewhat sterile architecture that has mostly replaced the old traditional way of life and style. With LA NOTTE, Antonioni tells the story of one night in the lives of a young wealthy Milanese couple whose romantic relationship has totally disintegrated in recent years and who spend their time wandering about both literally and figuratively in an equally sterile landscape of jaded party goers and pseudo intellectuals. There is very little action throughout the movie with the camera centered on the principal characters’ moods as they drift about during the night’s revels. At a party thrown by a rich business tycoon, the couple (Moreau and Mastroianni) go off with separate potential lovers, only to have the encounters sort of fall apart in due course as a result of their inability to connect emotionally with anyone anymore. Initially I found myself put off by the pace of the film and the absence of any significant plot development, but as the film progressed I was drawn into the world of the characters as Antonioni subtly created what I might term a “mood story” through his imagery. This is a film where the execution is in sync with the story. It’s bleak and tediously paced at times but then that’s the story of the couple. I enjoyed the film very much from the standpoint that the film is such a wonderful marriage of idea and technique despite the fact that it is such a sad and dispiriting story. I question whether or not other viewers would find it as compelling as I did, though I definitely think it would be worth a try.
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