La Notte

La Notte

Antonioni's portrait of a marriage in denial is a beautifully shot, gently dramatic depiction of two people in limbo. While this sort of story can be very effective, something about Antonioni's style has thus far failed to move me. I see how impressive his visuals are--the scene where Giovanni watches a woman through a window is particularly striking in the way it makes everything seem unreal--but his characters' blunt dialogue and too cool demeanors seem to put me off. It put me in mind of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but without the passion. Which, of course, is at the core of the couple's problems, this lack of passion, but it seems to pervade not just the couple but the entire film here. So, yes, it's effective. It instills a mood. But as pretty as it is to look at and insightful as it can be, it's just not something I relate to.

That said, there's a lot of interesting moments in this. The dancing sequence with the wine glass easily stands out as both strange and fascinating. When the rain hits the party later, and everyone jumps in the pool, there's a sort of dark glee pervading the moment that it made me want to be there. The scene earlier on in the field with the rockets was awe-inducing, and the game with sliding... something? across the floor that attracts a crowd seems intriguing. As a contrast to the ennui and disconnect the main couple seems to be feeling toward each other, despite their attempts otherwise, these scenes further draw attention to their denial--life is so interesting around them, yet they are clinging to a dead relationship, broken and bored and stagnant.

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