Antonioni harnessed then-rising star Delon’s magnetism, as a Type-A stockbroker who sees client Lilla Brignone’s daughter—played by Antonioni muse Monica Vitti—as a welcome distraction from a see-sawing market. Initially resistant to his hard sell, she is drawn to him on the rebound from Francisco Rabal. This was the director’s last movie to be made in black-and-white, breathtakingly lensed in and around Rome by 8½ cinematographer Gianni Di Venzano.
In Italian with English subtitles
Print courtesy of the British Film Institute
This film was my initiation into arthouse cinema that, until then, I associated with the culturally progressive, and naïvely assumed was the home of the only cinema that mattered. Unbeknownst to me, it was also my introduction to the challenge of learning how to develop an empathetic muscle for the white, casually racist upper-middle class, who excelled at poetically entrapping one another within their modernist towers of opulence, forgoing any possibility of genuine human connection. Come see Monica Vitti put her hand through a picture frame and change the image that surrounds it, as her director masterfully does the same to her. –JP, marketing assistant