BUCHT wrote:I saw Blow-Up last year in Berlin and still can't see the fuss. Hemmings is just a wanker, and the plot isn't especially involving anyway. I don't get why it's seen as a classic of its time.
I don't think he's meant to be a sympathetic character, and the essence of the film is drifting from one thing to another. The world Antonioni shows is one where nothing is of value, not a dead person in a park, not a smashed-up piece of a guitar that two minutes earlier everyone was clamoring for. Scenes trail off into nothing. Similar stuff happens in Zabriskie Point
, for example, the scene where the young man, Mark, is in a deli using a pay phone, and he puts the phone down in the middle of the call to ask the proprietor if he'd trust him for the price of a sandwich, to which the guy says no, and immediately we see Mark walking outside the deli. The thing was, that phone conversation was pretty important, and it's weird that we didn't hear the end of it! Nothing matters any more, nobody finishes their sentences, nobody means anything by what they say, everything is in flux, nobody knows anything anymore, everything is subjective (like the imaginary tennis game).
I think a lot of the greatness in Antonioni's films is purely the visual, the way a certain color appears in a certain scene. There is some incredible-looking lilac in one of the scenes in Hemmings' studio with Vanessa Redgrave, just as there is some beautiful pink in the desert in The Passenger
. It's these sheets of color that pop out of the frame. Plus the occasional moment of transcendent beauty, such as that central scene when Hemmings is actually in the park. When he actually found something real in his life, and for once had a goal. But even that got frittered away, the body disappeared, his blow-ups got swiped, he goes to tell his manager and he's too stoned to hear anything, and so he just lets it go, like everything else.
I like it, but I think the reason it was popular was that it showed things people wanted to see: the Swinging lifestyle, models, rock and roll, London, a trendy guy driving around, etc.