Wednesday, July 7, 2010


There are few people in cinematic history who are as immediately arresting as Monica Vitti. It is not simply a matter of being beautiful - there are a lot of beautiful people, particularly in the movies. But a few people, a very few people, seem made for the cinema, and Vitti is at the absolute top of this list. Her every glance or expression will just stop you in your tracks - there are more than a few that don't even last a second but will stick with you forever.

This, and a great many other thoughts, are burning into my brain having witnessed Michelangelo Antonioni's breathtaking masterpiece Red Desert, courtesy of the new Blu-Ray from The Criterion Collection. There are movies you wait to see for years and years and years that somehow manage to live up to the impossible expectations you've set for them. Then there are movies that completely reconfigure your whole idea of "expectations." Or movies, for that matter. That's Red Desert.

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