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Red Desert (1964)

Il deserto rosso (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 8 February 1965 (USA)
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 »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Carlo Chionetti ...
Ugo
Xenia Valderi ...
Linda
Rita Renoir ...
Emilia
Lili Rheims ...
Telescope operator's wife
Aldo Grotti ...
Max
Valerio Bartoleschi ...
Giuliana's son
Emanuela Pala Carboni ...
Girl in fable
Bruno Borghi
Beppe Conti
Giulio Cotignoli
Giovanni Lolli
Hiram Mino Madonia
Giuliano Missirini ...
Radio telescope operator
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Storyline

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 co-workers, Corrado Zeller, who is visiting. Giuliana is unstable, not quite knowing anymore just what her role is, whether that be a wife, a mother or just another person. Her escape from life is short-lived however as Zeller is simply using her to satisfy his own needs and desires. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the story of a woman...Her hidden thirsts and hungers...Told by the world-famous director Michelangelo Antonioni in his first color film. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Desert  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni dismissed the general critical consensus that industrialization was partly responsible for the fragmenting of Guiliana's mind. He said his intention was actually to celebrate the beauty of the industrial landscape, something that Guiliana can't appreciate because of her fragile mental state. See more »

Quotes

Corrado Zeller: You wonder what to look at. I wonder how to live. Same thing.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Red Desert in gray
26 April 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

"Il Deserto Rosso" should be more known among Antonioni's fans - it's a remarkable film - in the beginning we see a woman (Monica Vitti) with her little son wandering in an industrial landscape.............. She's married to the manager of the factory. She is losing her direction and sinking into panic and despair. Her husband, friends and even her little son are not enough for her to recover her sense of identity. She even tries an affair with a friend of her husband. Still....

Maybe the story in itself would not be sufficient to raise one's interest, but the way Antonioni tells it makes this film an interrogation mark concerning man and modern society. The bleak colors of the landscape mixing with the fog and the smog are a portrait of her (and ours, why not?) loss of points of reference. Reality becomes mixed with dreams but not all of this is shown in the film. Some of it is implied. Some of it is shown - like when Giuliana (Monica Vitti) is with husband and friends by the sea and the fog slowly makes the others' faces look strange and nightmarish.

Giuliana lives near the industrial concern (managed by her husband) - a small town in the vicinity, a solitary sea, a dock and some ships in it, big chimneys expelling smoke and foggy nights & days complete the picture. Memories come and unfold - good and bad - some of them described in her own words, others evoked by images and words that have the taste of a fairy tale. Insanity seems to be knocking at her door and life is so far away. Drifting with the wind and waves of life - if only someone could help her! "Il Deserto Rosso" flows in a natural way

  • we forget that we are seeing actors and become immersed in the film.


Antonioni is a great actor's director and I think he knows how to extract the best from them.

The DVD had a bonus where I watched the interview of Antonioni made immediately after the film's release. For my surprise he showed himself a simple kind of man. He didn't employ big words to define his film and revealed a sense of humor. This was the time during which Antonioni had a relationship with Monica Vitti (a superb actress) and in the few words he used he gave me the keys to his direction technique, that is, to create an ambiance where the actors can feel at ease, let them feel their roles and make them give their best.

Antonioni had their followers in Brazil too. The more remarkable of them was Walter Hugo Khoury that with "Corpo Ardente" (1966) made a Brazilian "deserto rosso" - a good film but far less good than Antonioni's.


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