BLOW-UP (1966)

In one of the rare Michelangelo Antonioni films I actually consider great, David Hemmings plays a callous, egotistical fashion photographer who stumbles upon and then grows bored with a murder conspiracy in mid-sixties London. This early scene is both strange and funny, while setting up the film’s protagonist as the cold, curious impresario that he is. Like most of the characters in the film, here, the model is an empty, vapid, yet beautiful shell of a person waiting for Hemmings to manipulate her at his will. She’s like a toy doll he’s playing with and then becomes bored with because he’s looking for something else. I find all of Antonioni’s work clinical and distant, but the reason I love Blow-Up is that that style fits the material. It’s also the only film in which the director demonstrates any real sense of humor.

-Walter Howard-

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