Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Michelangelo Antonioni 1912-2007

Yesterday, after hearing about Bergman's death, I said to my wife, "Antonioni's about the only old master left." How odd that he died the same day. I forgot about a few people when I said that. The French New Wave filmmakers are mostly still kicking and (mostly) still making good films, e.g. Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Alain Resnais. However, they are nearly a generation younger than Bergman and Antonioni. Portugal's Manoel de Oliveira is 99 years old and still making an average of two films a year. He's the only director living and, more impressively, working today who started in the silent-film era. However, though critically regarded as a master, his films haven't been distributed well, and only a handful are available on DVD in this country. So Antonioni may have been the last of a dying breed, namely, classic directors beginning their careers in the 1940s.

"Scientific man is already on the moon, and yet we are still living with the moral concepts of Homer."

"Hollywood is like being nowhere and talking to nobody about nothing."
--Michelangelo Antonioni

1 comment:

conor said...

The last time I cried for a filmmaker's death was with Brakhage. I should have cried last night, too bad I didn't. Antonioni was an honest filmmaker who never backed down when he had conceptual filmmaking in mind. He was a true pro. He took Fellini and Rosselini, met somewhere in between, and outdid them both. I praise him for living such a long life.

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