The conclusion of Michelangelo Antonioni’s loose trilogy (preceded by L’Avventura and La Notte), this 1961 film is conceivably the best in Antonioni’s career, but significantly it has the least consequential plot. A sometime translator (Monica Vitti) recovering from an unhappy love affair briefly links up with a stockbroker (Alain Delon) in Rome, though the stunning final montage sequence—perhaps the most powerful thing Antonioni has ever done—does without these characters entirely. Alternately an essay and a prose poem about the contemporary world in which the “love story” figures as one of many motifs, this is remarkable both for its visual/atmospheric richness and its polyphonic and polyrhythmic mise en scene (Antonioni’s handling of crowds at the Roman stock exchange is never less than amazing).

-- Jonathan Rosenbaum

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  1. Nydelig film. Nydelig avslutning.

    Her et utdrag (på engelsk) jeg en gang skrev om sluttsekvensen:

    Many of [the final shots] are places that we have seen WITH the characters previously, but that now are without them. It’s also about MA’s “places with personalities” idea, places that communicate something on their own even when the characters are gone. The most obvious symbol is the crate with the two floating objects (symbolizing Vitti and Delon) and the water/love pouring out of it and into the sewer. But other parts are less overt, like the fragmented close-ups of people and places.

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