I Watched… (#28)

19 Apr


Blow-Up (1966)

Michelangelo Antonioni’s first English language film follows young Thomas (David Hemmings), a cool, mod photographer in London during the swinging 60s.

After taking pictures of a mysterious stranger (Vanessa Redgrave) in the park one sunny day, Thomas notices something more sinister in the photos and the mysterious beauty is desperate to get the the film from him. Once he ‘blows-up’ the pictures, the darker side of London is truly revealed.

Much like 1960s London, Blow-Up is vibrant yet colourful, daringly erotic and really rather surreal in more ways than one. Random scenes punctuate the film and the main plot-line is not followed with much vigour – it rather feels like a camera is simply follow a young photographer around on his daily business, especially as there is no satisfactory ‘case-closed’ aspect to any part of the film.

Thomas’s soulful character helps drive the film on with the stuttering plot forgotten as the film explores the 60’s colours and vibes – every scene is bright and invigorating in Antonioni’s London.

With the revolutionary aspects and cultural significance of the Blow-Up somewhat faded since release, the film as a whole is not entirely satisfying though like Thomas’s Rolls-Royce, it offers a pleasant drive.



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