Michelangelo Antonioni: The First Complete Retrospective in New York City

It would be hard to overstate Michelangelo Antonioni¹s influence on postwar cinema, architecture and design, fashion, literature, and philosophy, even on modern conceptions of the intellectual and the erotic. Antonioni (1912/2007), whose fascination with mediated reality only deepened over time, was a restless experimenter with composition, camera movement, cutting, and storytelling.

Presented with Luce Cinecittà, Rome, and featuring nearly 40 35mm prints and digital preservations, this first complete retrospective in New York in more than a decade celebrates the writer-director¹s legendary collaborations with Monica Vitti‹the trilogy of L¹Avventura, L¹Eclisse, and La Notte, which Pauline Kael myopically dismissed in her infamous essay ³The Come- Dressed-As-the-Sick-Soul-of-Eu rope Parties²‹as well as Red Desert, Blow-Up, and The Passenger. It also foregrounds Antonioni¹s sociopolitical concerns through his neorealist documentary shorts and through his impressionistic yet incendiary Chung Kuo, Cina (1972), which lifted the Iron Curtain on China during the Cultural Revolution. Comparing the ³antique and silent² beauty of Ferrara, his childhood town, with his ³hard and hostile² experience of Rome, Antonioni might well have been describing the tensions within his own films: abstract, elliptical narratives involving men and women who are estranged from each other, from nature, and from themselves, and who drift through landscapes reflective of their existential despair and yearning.

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, and Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero, Luce Cinecittà.

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