Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Red Desert (1964)

Michelangelo Antonioni's The Red Desert is a very good, yet very deep and complicated film. Monica Vitti plays Giuliana, a severely depressed and co-dependant wife of a factory owner whose plant pollutes the air and rapes the land. Giuliana tries her best to keep her mental illness secret from her husband Ugo, played by Carlo Chionetti, and does so by leading him to believe it is just side effects from an automobile accident in which she suffered severe shock. One day while visiting her husband at the plant with their son she meets Corrado (Richard Harris), one of Ugo's business partners. Corrado is immediately taken by the lovely Giuliana, and sets his mind to wooing her. Throughout the film Giuliana's mental condition seems to deteriorate more and more, and when Ugo leaves for South America and her son fakes Polio to get out of going to Kindergarten it pushes her over the edge which sends her running into the arms of Corrado who is just dying to take advantage of her. Antonioni's direction is outstanding and some of the cinematography is just mind-blowing. Vitti gives an outstanding performance; Harris and Chionetti are also quite good. Worth watching, but pay close attention or you will be lost faster than you can say Antonioni. Overall 3.0/4 Stars Grade = B

No comments: