In a bleak rundown industrial area a young woman, Giuliana, tries to cope with life. She's married to Ugo the manager of a local plant but is soon having an affair with one of his ... See full summary »
An epic portrait of late Sixties America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children: anthropology student Daria (who's helping a property developer build a village in the Los ... See full summary »
The movie director Niccolo has just been left by his wife. This gives him the idea of making a movie about women's relationships. He starts to search for a woman who can play the leading ... See full summary »
In Milan, after visiting dear friend Tommaso Garani that is terminal in a hospital, the writer Giovanni Pontano goes to a party for the release of his last book, and his wife Lydia Pontano visits the place where she lived many years ago. In the night, they go to a night-club, and later to a party in the mansion of the tycoon Mr. Gherardini. Along the night, Giovanni flirts with Valentina Gherardini, the daughter of the host, and then he receives a proposal to work for him in the area of communication and write the history of his company. Meanwhile, Lydia flirts with the playboy Roberto. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Giovanni pours champagne in the hospital, Bernhard Wicki (Tommaso) looks straight to the camera while turning his head from Lidia to Giovanni. See more »
"When I awake this morning, you were still asleep. As I awoke I heard you gentle breathing. I saw you closed eyes beneath wisps of stray hair and I was deeply moved. I wanted to cry out, to wake you, but you slept so deeply, so soundly. " "In the half light you skin gloved with life so warm and sweet. I wanted to kiss it, but I was afraid to wake you. I was afraid of you awake in my arms again. Instead, I wanted to something no one could take from me, mine alone...this eternal image of you. ...
See more »
It's not because of films like this that Antonioni is great for me, it's because he tutored with them and grew wiser for his later more important works. Because having dissected with simple precision the crushing dilemmas of whether or not love is possible, realizing this ineffability of human connection, he could see this was not the end of our suffering and if this was not the end, we could still not rule conclusively that we have no chance to attain peace in this life.
After he concluded with the two lovers willingly not pursuing their feelings at the end of L'Eclisse, he turned inwards, and with each subsequent film he peered under one more veil of false perception. But what was he trying to look into in La Notte, what does he find here?
La Notte is a step behind L'Eclisse, naturally. Here love matters, or is thought that it should, to the bitter end. The finale is overbearing with pessimism then because love fails to be that saving grace, that we're still alone, consumed by our desires. But that's not all of it either.
Even when Mastroyanni painfully knows that the love he cherished has vanished with time and habit, he still clings to it. Even a dragging routine is preferable than the emptiness of solitude. This is how love functions here, as a shelter that soothes the existential pains, or a mask that mercifully obscures them.
But these people are not simply lost adrift in faceless crowds and cold rooms, they're clinging on the craving of desire for their salvation. When I say that the mind is not transcended yet in these films of Antonioni's alienation phase, it's because it still dictates desire, the terms under which a meaningful life should be pursued.
But to show that love is not our saving grace because it's subject to the whims and tedium of time would be to concede that we are merciless at the hands of higher forces beyond our control, that we're not masters of our fate. It was important in this aspect to go a step beyond, to show us characters become aware of the emptiness of desire by willingly giving up on it. But for that we'd have to go ahead to L'Eclisse and Il Deserto Rosso.
By itself La Notte may seem like it's laboriously pondering to say too little. As part of an oeuvre though, it has a place that can't be dismissed lightly.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?