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 »
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 »
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 »
A hunted man breaks into the castle at Oberwald to kill the Queen, but faints before doing so. He is Sebastian, the splitting image of the King who was assassinated on his wedding day. The ... See full summary »
A journalist researching a documentary in the Sahara Desert meets a gunrunner who dies suddenly. When the journalist notices that they have a similar appearance, he assumes the recently deceased's identity and accepts the consequences that it brings. Written by
Michelangelo Antonioni: The Passenger (Italy/France 1975). 128 minutes. Release by Sony Classics Pictures release. Release date: October 28, 2005. Shown at the New York Film Festival: October 8, 2005.
Thirty years later, Michelangelo Antonioni's re-released "The Passenger" is looking very good, and so are Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider, as the journalist who takes a dead man's identity in the Sahara and the girl he meets in Barcelona who decides to tag along. David Locke (Nicholson) takes the passport of a man named Robertson who he's had a few drinks with in a hotel. Before that we see Locke experience frustration, giving away cigarettes to men in turbans who say nothing, abandoned by a boy guide, dumping a Land Rover stuck in the sand. Later we see films that show as a journalist he was subservient to bad men. Locke has Robertson's appointment book which leads him to Munich, then various points in Spain. He learns Robertson was a committed man taking risks: he sold arms to revolutionaries whose causes he thought were just. He gets a huge down-payment.
Then Locke's wife gets a tape of him talking to Robertson and his passport with Robertson's photo pasted into it -- and she gets the picture.
Changing your identity and using someone else's isn't just an existential act, it's also a criminal one. Locke's gambit is hopeless: he winds up fleeing from himself. The film skillfully gives its action story an existential underpinning. The chase keeps up a rapid pace, like the Bourne franchise, but it has time to contemplate Locke's old and new lives in a metaphorical story he tells Schneider about a blind man that explains how he ends up.
Antonioni is great at little incidentals -- a girl chewing bubblegum, a man reciting in a Gaudi building. And at the end, people coming and going in a desolate plaza outside a bullfighting amphitheater. The locations provide exotic glamor. The camera-work of course is wonderful. In retrospect now one can see this was definitely a culmination for Antonioni. He thought it technically his best film. This is the director's preferred European version, originally released as "Professione: Reporter."
51 of 65 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?