What the Eye Truly Sees...
Is an image really there when you see it in closer zoom-ins? Or does it
become even more indistinct, confusing the eye even more? Was there or
wasn't there a crime being committed in the middle of the day in a
London park? Are there any answers, and is this whole "mystery" even
worth even investigating? These are questions that are the root of the
matter, and Michaelangelo Antonioni toys with what happens, and what
doesn't happen, what is, what is not, what is real, and what is unreal.
The story, if there truly is one, moves slowly and deliberately: David
Hemmings portrays an unsympathetic fashion photographer -- he is
credited as Thomas but we never hear him called this way -- who seems
to wallow in his own prowess as a photographer. He treats women like
mincemeat -- to him, they're only objects for his lust as when he meets
Veruschka and practically rapes her through a photo shoot -- or
mannequins who can't pose worth anything and only fuel his anger. He
also has a painter friend who's girlfriend (Sarah Miles) seems to have
a certain interest in him, but whom he ignores, like all other women
who come in contact with him. After what turns to be a lousy photo
shoot he does some meandering and comes to a park, and from a distance
witnesses a woman and a man (Vanessa Redgrave and Ronan O'Casey), in an
apparent, romantic interlude, enjoying the day and the semi-privacy
within the park's confines. He takes pictures, walks closer, takes more
pictures, walks even closer... almost predatory so, much like a voyeur.
That is, until she sees him and demands he return to her the film roll
-- he can't take pictures just like that, and is against her consent.
He declines so and gives her a different film (after almost having her
beg for it). And a little after halfway through the story, he develops
his film... and sees what looks to be like a body on the ground, the
outline of a man with a gun hidden within some thick bushes. And her
reaction, full of angry surprise.
Has he truly photographed a murder in progress? Is he privy to more
than he should be, and could this have some danger in store for him?
Antonioni toys with the audience, never letting in on Redgrave's
character, but letting us experience the world through Hemmings
untrustworthy eyes and superficial values that momentarily seem to have
been thrown out of whack due to this disquieting incident. The problem
is, what Hemmings sees may or may not be true -- a classic shot where
he tries to find Redgrave and he sees her in the middle of a walking
crowd and she literally makes an about-face and disappears from view.
Just like that. And his grasp of the mystery emanating from his brush
with her at the park, like even Hemmings at the end, is gone, dissolved
into the grass.
This is not a film for people looking for action and adventure as quite
the opposite happens here. It's a film that echoes the French New Wave
as it tells a story about an antihero who has a moment of crisis and
decides to (maybe) take action, and is left suspended at the end.
Influential for Coppola's THE CONVERSATION, this is a fascinating
puzzle which is missing its last, vital piece..
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folt folst folt.
zaklÃnadiel, povrÃ¡vok, Ä.
not too bad, classic.
Hope i enjoy it .
Unusual, but very gripping film
Stylish and unique drama set in `mod London' stars Hemmings as a fashion
photographer who believes he accidentally captured a murder on film, but
one believes him. Story relies primarily on symbolism and expressionism,
rather than a lot of dialogue and plot. Remade as 'Blow Out' in 1981..