IMDb > The Red Desert (1964)
Il deserto rosso
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The Red Desert (1964) More at IMDbPro »Il deserto rosso (original title)

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The Red Desert -- 3 Reasons Criterion Collection trailer

Overview

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Release Date:
8 February 1965 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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.
Plot:
Cold, rain, and fog surround a plant in Ravenna. Factory waste pollutes local lakes; hulking anonymous ships pass or dock and raise quarantine flags... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
7 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(91 articles)
‘Rosemary’s Baby’ is a classic of unseen dread
 (From SoundOnSight. 20 October 2014, 5:34 PM, PDT)

Interview: Mark Jackson (War Story)
 (From ioncinema. 30 July 2014, 10:00 AM, PDT)

Conversation with Kelly Reilly about Calvary
 (From eyeforfilm.co.uk. 25 July 2014, 11:40 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
RED DESERT (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964) *** See more (36 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Michelangelo Antonioni 
 
Writing credits
Michelangelo Antonioni  &
Tonino Guerra 

Produced by
Tonino Cervi .... producer (as Antonio Cervi)
Angelo Rizzoli .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Giovanni Fusco 
Vittorio Gelmetti (electronic music)
 
Cinematography by
Carlo Di Palma 
 
Film Editing by
Eraldo Da Roma 
 
Art Direction by
Piero Poletto 
 
Costume Design by
Gitt Magrini 
 
Makeup Department
Giancarlo De Leonardis .... hair stylist
Giancarlo De Leonardis .... key hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Ugo Tucci .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gianni Arduini .... first assistant director
Flavio Niccolini .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Sergio Donà .... property master
 
Sound Department
Mario Bramonti .... boom operator
Renato Cadueri .... sound assistant
Claudio Maielli .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Franco Freda .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Gianni Antinori .... second assistant camera
Claudio Cortini .... still photographer
Dario Di Palma .... camera operator
Romolo Romagnoli .... key grip
Elmiro Rubeo .... gaffer
Alberto Spagnoli .... first assistant camera
Sergio Strizzi .... still photographer
Francesco Brescini .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Paola Carloni .... wardrober
 
Editorial Department
Stephen Bearman .... colorist
Marisa Mengoli .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Vittorio Gelmetti .... composer: electronic music
Carlo Savina .... musical director
 
Other crew
Serena Canevari .... script supervisor
Dino Di Salvo .... production auditor
Eros Lanfranconi .... production secretary
Rodolfo Martello .... production auditor
Giuseppe Rinaldi .... voice dubbing: Richard Harris (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Il deserto rosso" - Italy (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
117 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 | Italy:VM14 | Netherlands:18 (1966) | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:PG | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12A (theatrical re-release) (2012) | UK:15 (video rating) (1995) | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Michelangelo Antonioni claimed that the idea for the film came about from watching the rapid industrialization of the town of Ravenna.See more »
Quotes:
Giuliana:Giuliana: There's something terrible about reality but i don't know what it is.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Nostalgia (1983)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
10 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
RED DESERT (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964) ***, 22 August 2007
Author: MARIO GAUCI (marrod@melita.com) from Naxxar, Malta

Antonioni’s fourth film in a row with muse Monica Vitti sees the actress in perhaps her most difficult role yet; her co-star was Richard Harris: it was certainly interesting that the director wanted him so soon after having achieved stardom with Lindsay Anderson’s THIS SPORTING LIFE (1963) but, in retrospect, his is a part that anybody could have filled in adequately. It was ironic, then, that Harris and Antonioni didn’t see eye to eye and, reportedly, the former walked off the set (or was “kicked off”, depending on what sources one reads) and the film had to be completed with a double for its male star!

Anyway, the industrial wasteland (full of fuming factories, polluted rivers, massive steel structures, plague-ridden merchant ships) against which the events are set is supposed to mirror the lead character’s emotional turmoil; we first see her literally “scrounging for her next meal” (as Bob Dylan famously sang). Despite being ostensibly a character study, what we get – as is Antonioni’s fashion – are vaguely-defined characters and half-disclosed information (such as the nature of work in which both Harris and Vitti’s husband are involved, her own traffic accident which brought on her mental collapse, her son’s sudden and apparently inexplicable disability, the plague outbreak, and the source of the singing heard by the girl in the fable recounted by Vitti to her convalescent offspring).

As in BLOWUP (1966), the Italian surroundings here are made to seem other-wordly – as if the narrative was taking place in some forbidding science-fiction landscape; this is augmented by the electronics-infused soundtrack (occasionally interrupted by ethereal vocals, as mentioned earlier) and the meticulous color scheme (RED DESERT marked Antonioni’s departure from black-and-white cinema – in retrospect, it also emerges as one of his most haunting efforts). The film is quite long, however, and drags a bit during its second half…but the ending is, once again, inspired – with Vitti finally opening up, even if it’s in front of a foreign (and, therefore, non-comprehending) sailor.

The undeniable highlights of the piece are the Sunday afternoon outing at a remote cabin which develops into an orgy and the visualization of the afore-mentioned fable (featuring the red desert, actually pink-colored sand, of the title which symbolizes a sunny Utopia away from the contaminations of the modern world). RED DESERT won two prizes at the Venice Film Festival including the Golden Lion, the top honor, over Pier Paolo Pasolini’s THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW (1964). Curiously enough, after this, both Antonioni and Vitti went ‘mod’ in Britain with BLOWUP and Joseph Losey’s MODESTY BLAISE (1966) respectively.

I’ve been tempted to pick up the R4 SE DVD of this one – featuring an Audio Commentary and a 1-hour documentary on the director (also available on the Criterion 2-Disc Set of Antonioni and Vitti’s previous collaboration, L’ECLISSE [1962], which I’ve just ordered!) – but, since the R1 Image disc is now OOP and a number of that company’s titles have received the Criterion treatment, it shouldn’t be too long (especially now that the film-maker has passed away) before it’s time for RED DESERT to get its own re-release...

It seems to me that of the two brief retrospectives I recently embarked on, Antonioni’s has emerged as the more rewarding; some of Ingmar Bergman’s films would rate very highly on their own but, collectively, they lack the visual diversity which lends the Italian film-maker’s work its lingering fascination and compulsive aura of mystery.

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WTF???? Camiyiya
Critics rate 100% fresh - Emperor's new clothes? bokibongbing
Dissenting voices - deal with it svenrufus
Is Richard Harris Dubbed? dijon1
The Spectacular Fog Scene thecuckooclock
Interesting article interpreting 'Red Desert' mackjay2
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