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 Lidia 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, Lidia flirts with the playboy Roberto.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Many nights led to this night, nights of time, nights of fear, nights of love, nights of loneliness, nights of pursuit and conquest, nights without privacy, and this night - a night of truth. See more »
Boom visible in shadow form as Giovanni leaves Tomasso's hospital room and walks down the corridor at 16mins or so into the film. See more »
Look who's here. Our patroness from Rome. Mr. Pontano, this is Marquise Gentili. She works with orphanages. Do you smoke?
I will have one. Everyone smokes here in Milan.
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Not as engaging in it's detachted style as L'Avventura, worthwhile none-the-less
La Notte is very content to be a film seemingly about the mundane in the bourgeois world of an Italian couple. But what makes it worthwhile is that the time that Antonioni gives for the scenes and actors to breathe- ironically enough considering their social and intimate repression- allows for some curious moments to slip through (some of his best directed). The married couple here of the great Marcello Mastroianni and face-of-a-thousand-words Jeanne Moreau are not necessarily un-happy but unsatisfied with how their lives are at this point. The husband is a very successful and admired author, and they are well off. But the question still arises, underneath as the subtext in many scenes, what's it all really worth? Two of the main set-pieces/sequences in the film revolve around Moreau walking around aimlessly through the city while her husband is at a signing party, and at a rich party at night with a spacious amount of room for the guests.
All of these little, seemingly mundane moments are not all that the film is made up of, and it is in this existential (if it is relatively speaking) crisis for this couple that what real life that's out there and real pains strike up here and there. I loved the moment where Mastroianni is confronted by a seemingly crazy girl at the hospital; is she really crazy, or just desperate for someone's affection or attention (she is later beat into submission by the nurses)? Or when Moreau sees a fight break out with some young men in the less well-off section of town, the hesitation and surprise suddenly throws the fighters off. The party itself- where-in the 'Night' of the title is revealed- has moments of dialog that strike up the symbolic points Antonioni is making. But unlike the director's previous film, the visual-side of the cinematography has its moments but not necessarily as extraordinary in its overall make-up. Yet the initial peaks of interest- both in the actors (particularly Moreau who is always a treasure) and in the final, contemplative act with Monica Vitti, endures with better results.
Maybe the least in the 'trilogy' that Antonioni made between 1960 and 1962, which still makes it more watchable than the usual art-house bores of late. There is almost TOO much room for pondering about these characters, which makes for what could be seen as 'dull', but it really isn't. Detached, maybe, but not hard to connect with if open enough, this is a very good film if not one of the director's best.
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