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Beyond the Clouds

3.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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(Aug 22, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Eighty-six year old Italian master Michelangelo Antonioni is considered one of the greatest living directors, his prolific career spanning a fifty year period. He recently received an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement and the American Film Institute's highest honor. Image Entertainment is proud to present the DVD of Antonioni's latest work, the European success "Beyond the Clouds." Told from the dreamlike perspective of a wandering film director, the movie weaves four stories of love and lust, inspired by Antonioni's writings about enigmatic, unrequited or unresolved relationships. Set in several beautiful European locales such as Portofino and Paris, the film uses striking compositions, sensuous shots of lovely nudes and a moving musical score (featuring Van Morrison, U2 and Brian Eno) to create a radiant meditation on love and desire. The film is co-directed by Wim Wenders (Buena Vista Social Club, Wings of Desire) and boasts an eclectic international cast including John Malkovich, Sophie Marceau, Irene Jacob, Jean Reno and Vincent Perez.

Special Features

  • Original Language: English, French & Italian
  • "To Make A Film Is To Be Alive" - a documentary on director Michelangelo Antonioni

Product Details

  • Actors: Fanny Ardant, Chiara Caselli, Irène Jacob, John Malkovich, Sophie Marceau
  • Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni, Wim Wenders
  • Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Wim Wenders, Francesco Marcucci, Soheil Ghodsy, Tonino Guerra
  • Producers: Brigitte Faure
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 22, 2000
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305943575
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,744 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beyond the Clouds" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Here's another Antonioni masterpiece (assisted and with a few connecting scenes directed by Wim Wenders) that will be rediscovered again and again as soon as enough people see it on DVD. I saw it a few months ago when it ran for the first time (even in metropolitan movie capital L.A.!) for a couple of weeks and then disappeared (art house audiences seem to have opted for their own special territory, where older favorites like Antonioni and Resnais are only welcome as occasional curiosities).

At first I was disappointed, thought the pace unbearably boring (how can anyone sit through this thing more than once?), and that the man had lost a chance (for years Antonioni had found it difficult to find financing) at an advanced age to add another masterpiece to his canon. But, remembering how I had reacted negatively to "Blow-Up" and "The Passenger" and later completely reversed my opinion, I refused to pass judgment until I had seen it again.

I went back th!e next day and I SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SURPRISED that the film kept pulling me in, making me aware of things I had thought about and lost track of throughout my life. These were the same truths exposed for the first time some forty years ago in 'L'Aventurra,''La Notte,' 'L'Eclisse,' and 'Red Desert,' transposed to a contemporary setting, and they were just as fascinating as ever! The slow, drawn-out meditative moods, the famous "alienated tone," and above all, the subtle comedic subtext underlying everything-I just couldn't get enough.
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Format: DVD
The great Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni spins four dreamy tales into an uneven but satisfying confection concerning passion and connectivity. Though not as bitter as La Notte and L'Avventura (two of his masterpieces), in this film Antonioni seems more pensive and nostalgic for the tragedy of passing time and lost love. A great cast fills the landscape of lovers trying to connect and passions boiling beneath the surface, some fulfilled, others disappointingly engaged. John Malkovich wanders through the film as a narrator connecting the threads of the four stories (the direction assisted by Wim Wenders due to Antonioni's age and the after effects of a stroke), and the international cast of Peter Weller, Irene Jacob, Vincent Perez, Sophie Marceau and Jean Reno are perfectly tuned in to the director's icy, haunting style. A brief cameo by Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau (stars of La Notte) is touching and sad. This film is a must for Antonioni's fans; his scene composition and camerawork are still among the best of any living director.
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Format: DVD
I love this movie so much that I will be the first one in line to buy the DVD.
For those of you who love well-designed plots, like those of Manon of the Spring or Sixth Sense, you may be disappointed by the stories in this movie. All four stories were not linked in any meaningful way.
The first story was about a young man, who secretly fell in love with a beautiful young woman (Inès Sastre) that he met in a street. It was the kind of Platonic love in which he loved her spiritually but feared that physical attachment would destroy this relationship. It reminds me of John Cage and Nelle Porter in the Ally McBeal show. Only they were more innocent.
The second story was a bizarre one. John Malkovich and Sophie Marceau were two mysterious strangers who met in a small shop on the shore of a beautiful lake (or sea?). They felt connected in some way that was not easily understandable to the audience.
The third story was about a love triangle in a big city. This story was all so familiar and boring too.
In the last story, a beautiful girl (Irene Jacob) was walking to a church. A young man volunteered to walk with her in the rain. They talked about life and love. When the girl got back home, she told the boy that she was going to enter a convention the day after. The boy left in despair. Obviously, the girl was kind of lost too.
What I love most about this movie is the beautiful places. I love the foggy street and cozy hotel of Ferrara, the beach shops and ivy-covered walls of Portofino, and the streets of Paris in rainy days. These places look so beautiful and lovely that I just want to jump in the screen like the waitress in The Purple Rose of Cairo.
Sastre, Marceau and Jacob look phenomenal in this movie.
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Format: DVD
As an avid fan of foreign cinema, I had hoped for far more from this film. While I enjoy savoring slow, brooding, elliptical films (Kieslowski's films largely populate my favorites list), "Nuages" simply didn't deliver. The European locales (and various actresses) in the film are frequently gorgeous and beautifully filmed, but precious little is done with this promising milieu.
Not only do the stories lack depth and interest, the characters/actors are unengaging and even obtrusive. Everyone floats about with this detached, deer-in-the-headlights gaze, mouthing deliberately obscure, overwrought lines that might have come from the pen of some turtleneck-clad, undergraduate philosophy major. There were several moments of unintended humor, when the wearing-my-angst-on-my-sleeve bit crossed the ridiculousness threshold, and left my wife and I laughing aloud. Where Kieslowski's films indirectly but insistently pull you into the urgencies of his protagonists lives, this film opts for the unsubtle; some of these characters might as well be carrying placards noting "I'm Complex!" "I'm emotionally haunted!" and the like. The one near-exception to this observation was the final vignette, featuring the understated but luminous Irene Jacob.
I found myself wishing that the characters would leave me alone to explore the beguiling backdrops against which these pallid vignettes unfold. I don't think that was the director's intent.
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