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La Notte

58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Antonioni's study of alienation and moral decay chronicles a day in the life of a middle-class couple whose marriage has been destroyed by mutual indifference and impenetrable loneliness.

Continuing the "alienation trilogy" that began with L'Avventura and ended with L'Eclisse, Michelangelo Antonioni's La Notte is a visually arresting, emotionally numbing exercise in chronic ennui. The film's anesthetizing effect is entirely intentional; Antonioni's central couple (Marcello Mastroianni as a self-absorbed novelist, Jeanne Moreau as his bored and wealthy wife) wallow in their own emotional desolation, constantly drifting--and in Moreau's case, literally drifting--from one disaffected scene to the next. Antonioni's pained study of modern detachment is richly supported by his visuals, often placing his isolated characters in a harsh landscape of empty glamor and even emptier emotions. Driving the point home is Monica Vitti as Marcello's would-be mistress; in their aimless lassitude, neither can muster the necessary passion. It's all too superficial to register with any lasting dramatic impact, but La Notte remains the fascinating work of a master, redefining how movies reflect the many facets of humanity. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti, Bernhard Wicki, Rosy Mazzacurati
  • Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Ennio Flaiano, Tonino Guerra
  • Producers: Emanuele Cassuto
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2001
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00005AA9S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,284 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "La Notte" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By robb0117 on November 14, 2001
Format: DVD
This is truly a wonderful film. Moreau, Mastroianni and Vitti are perfect in Antonioni's expression of banality and dispassion in the modern age. Those put off by Antonioni's work, due to vagueness and slow pacing, will find "La Notte" extremely approachable. Also, I was amazed to how similar "La Notte" is to Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut." The portraying of the emptiness of the main characters marriage not through dialog but imagery, the story structure, the wealthy friends party (end of "La Notte," beginning of "EWS"), the personal odysseys Moreau and Mastroianni venture on to spark up passion in their lives are all reminiscent of Kubrick's last film. I haven't heard of Kubrick being influence by Antonioni or not, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.
Being that "La Notte" is such a visual treat, it is frustrating that the Fox Lorber DVD is so poorly put together. It skips, the audio often doesn't sync up with the actors mouths, there is a hiss that keeps on going on and off, and there are many scratches and smudges throughout. Oh well. Hopefully Criterion will pick this one up and do to "La Notte" what they did for "L'Avventura." That is the treatment this film deserves.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By TUCO H. on October 9, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A film that Jean Renoir called "Magnificent" and Orson Welles said he couldn't stand, "La Notte" is arguably Antonioni's most flawless, concentrated and deeply layered masterpiece (the late great critic William Arrowsmith has put forth the most masterful argument in favor of this high opinion in his fantastically unconventional and myth-debunking, chapter-long review of it in "Antonioni: Poet of Images"), and it certainly deserved better than the amateurish & just plain awful transfer it has gotten from the philistine cheapskates at Fox-Lorber. The film's influence on other filmmakers & especially the most famous of American directors such as Scorsese, Coppola, and De Palma is IMMENSE: for direct proof check out Scorsese's homage to the famous silent-conversation-in-the-parked-car-in-the-rain scene in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," where Ellen Burstyn is seen grieving silently in the closed capsule of her car in the pouring rain for her son who has run away. Some people also mention Kubrick's final pretentious mediocrity "Eyes Wide Shut" as being similar to this film. Well, it figures, and no real film fans are too surpried since "Barry Lyndon" and "2001" were also both practically Antonioni films in their deliberate, super-concentrated compositions and slow pacing, and also because back when he was still a great director (in 1963) Kubrick listed "La Notte" as his 7th favorite film of all-time.
The picture quality of this DVD version Fox-Lorber-Winstar has thrown on the market is maybe SLIGHTLY better than a mediocre VHS copy, but that's about it! The ONLY reason to buy the DVD is to be able to get to your favorite parts quicker.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Peter Henne on April 26, 2004
Format: DVD
Several respondents here have criticized the transfer quality, citing cropping, hisses, wobbling, etc. Most of the "cropping" is attributable to television overscan, and you notice it more on this DVD because Antonioni makes such deft and unusual use of the far edges of the screen. There are DVD players available which can help compensate for overscanning, a problem originating from standard television sets and not this particular DVD. Regarding hisses, those recurring, distant industrial sounds you hear are on the original soundtrack. Undoubtedly they are meant to serve an emotional mood. One respondent reports that the image is so jumpy he couldn't watch the film; I simply didn't have the same viewing experience. A number of Criterion releases have more image wobble than this one. In fact, I'm impressed by the great sound and picture quality of this DVD. It's a huge improvement over the muddy version which Bravo used to broadcast, and notably cleaner than theatrical prints available in the US in the 1990s. While not perfect, this DVD delivers the aural and visual clarity which Antonioni deserves.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2003
Format: DVD
While "L'Avventura" was a film about mystery, and about the discovery of mystery in our lives, this follow-up is darker, stressing the loss of mystery--along with the loss of love and of value in life. Like "L'Avventura," it's supremely beautiful to look at, and it also focuses on the Italian upper-class world of the early 60s. Here, Marcello Mastroianni plays a celebrated novelist who's in the process of burning out, and Jeanne Moreau is his wife--who's burning out too, but unlike him, she's aware of it. She (and he, to a lesser extent) embarks on a sort of odyssey of self-discovery in the course of a day and night; among the many brilliant episodes is a long night party at the home of a millionaire (who, we learn, "collects" intellectuals such as the novelist, and then seeks to buy them). The millionaire's speeches are brilliantly written, as he gradually caricatures himself, and as he implicates the intelligentsia in the process of emptying that the modern world is rapidly accomplishing. Moreau herself has never been more expressive--well, maybe in "Jules and Jim"--and Mastroianni is also at his best. As if that pairing weren't enough, about two-thirds of the way through we meet the magnificent Monica Vitti, playing the 18-year-old daughter of the millionaire, and giving endless shadings to her character--as she usually does.
The DVD is good, though not as good as it might have been. The film is letterboxed, and the image is good and crisp. The subtitles are good, but often bits of dialogue aren't translated, especially bits in the party scenes. There are very few extras, but the filmographies are good. The DVD promises weblinks, but the main link is to the Internet Movie Database, which anybody likely to watch this film will probably have bookmarked long ago. Still, for anyone interested in Antonioni, or in the greatest films of the era, this is well worth the purchase price.
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