Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Death


So I have just now heard that on the same day Ingmar Bergman died, so went Antonioni. Though I am not all that familiar with the entirety of either director's work, Antonioni's BlowUp has always been interesting for me, given my early & formative interest in Julio Cortazar. The film purports itself to be based on a story in Cortazar's volume End of the Game and other stories (which was later renamed to Blow Up and other stories following the success of the film), but in reality the two works have very little in common. There is a basic thematic concurrance, & the two stories do contain the physical act of enlarging a photograph in order to more acutely contemplate its contents, but on the whole they have as much in common as The Bourne Identity & any James Bond picture of your choice. On the one hand, the lack of a more faithful film representation of Cortazar's masterpiece is regretful. But, thinking about it a few day's after Antonioni's death at 94 (the film was released in '66), it is an encouraging example of one work inspiring an entirely, conclusively separate other-genre work; also, Cortazar's story is so beyond perfect that it needs no film counterpart: it transcends genre, language, civilization. It indicates a mountain of speculative horror without offering an ounce of certainty or solid ground. In a handful of pages, the world crumbles. In Antonioni's film, the outcome is far less apocalyptic, yet entirely as metaphysical. The world appears to crumble, yet the protagonist adjusts. Still, the film is no less of a masterpiece, regardless of the fact that it might take several viewings for die-hard fans of Cortazar's story to appreciate, given the fundamental difference between the two works. Though it is perhaps cliche to do so whenever someone dies, it is time to head to the movie store, or netflix, & catch up.

1 comment:

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