blow up

Directed by:  Michelangelo Antonioni  Based on:  A short story “Las babas del diablo” by Julio Cortazar.  Cast:  David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, John Castle,  Sarah Miles, Jane Birkin, Gillian Hills   (Full cast and crewRelease date: 1966

What’s it about:  A successful mod photographer in London whose world is bounded by fashion, pop music, marijuana, and easy sex, feels his life is boring and despairing. Then he notices something frightfully suspicious on one of his photographs taken in a park. The fact that he may have photographed a murder does not occur to him until he studies and then blows up his negatives, uncovering details, blowing up smaller and smaller elements, and finally putting the puzzle together…

Why i had to have it:  I came across this movie on some website that listed “20 of the most stylish classic movies.” This was one of them – i forget it’s ranking but after seeing it i would rank it no.1.  The movie deals with the artists relationship with reality – is he representing it or is he altering it through his interpretation.   It also shows the Photographer character going to live in a homeless shelter in order to get images for his book – he does not help them, only uses them in order to establish himself as a credible artist.  It reminds me (to some extent) of the iconic photo taken in 1993 of the Sudanese girl and the vulture – who was preying on the helpless and suffering really?  It also shows the superficiality of the fashion world behind the scenes.  I love the scene where the stylist uses clothes pin to make the dresses fit perfectly – from the front everything looks perfect…  The entire plot revolves around the concept of truth, the fact that you need at least to people to collaborate a story for it to be accepted as true.  All in all I think this is a brilliant movie.

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