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Red Desert (The Criterion Collection)
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Criterion Collection's treatment of Red Desert is excellent, as well. Two short black-and-white Antonioni documentaries, "N.U." and "Gente del Po," illustrate this director's earlier attempts at capturing on film the modern dilemma facing humans at the hands of burgeoning technology. Two archival interviews, one with Antonioni and one with Vitti, are full of rich anecdotal background information about the inspiration for Red Desert and L'Avventura. Even the film's dailies are included in the supplements so one can see how Antonioni composed and pulled off his amazing camera work. --Trinie Dalton
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But it is the character of Giuliana that drives the film. She seems to possess an integrity in her suffering that sets her apart. Antonioni seems to be searching her soul as he allows the camera to dwell on her expressions of hurt and desperation (as Godard did with Anna Karina). And Monica Vitti is so beautiful that it is ultimately painful to watch her. But as for the standard opinion - the only people who could be bored by this film are those who are bored with feeling itself. This is a masterpiece of observed sensitivity - a study of the heart's war on consciousness. It must be seen.
The Italian modernist director was known for his radical new style, not following any convention of filmmaking and most of all, characters and events are disconnected. Known for his trilogy, beginning with "L'avventura" (1960), the film was an international success and would introduce the world to the actress Monica Vitti, a woman who would appear as the main character in several of his films. Antonioni returned with "La Notte" (1961) starring Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni and Monica Vitti which focused on the slow death of a marriage and final of the trilogy "L'Eclisse" would focus on the alienation of man in the modern world.
"Red Desert" is the fourth and final film that Antonioni's muse Monica Vitti would be featured in a film of his (the director would move on to focus his film on a male character). The film would also feature the director filming in color for the first time.
"Red Desert" is presented in 1080p (1:85:1 Aspect Ratio). According to Criterion, the new HD transfer for "Red Desert" was created on a Spirit HD 2K Datacine from the original 35mm camera negative. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, jitter and flicker were manually removed using MTI's DRS system and Pixel Farm's PFClean system, while Digital Vision's DVNR system was used for small dirt, grain and noise reduction.
It's important to note that Antonioni wanted to capture a certain look.Read more ›
The special features on this issue are unusually valuable: an interview with Antonioni, shortly after the film's release; an interview with Monica Vitti about her work and her relationship with him, which was supposedly first shown on French television in 1991, but which surely must have been done earlier, because there is no mention of his tragically debilitating stroke; good prints of Antonioni's two early neo-realist documentaries, which already show his care of visual composition; and some black and white dailies, which highlight Antonion's care in composition and the light and shadow substrate of his brilliant use of color. These features have added immeasurably to my understanding of a film, which only improves with time. Thank you Criterion!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first saw this film in the '70s, when I was in college. Before watching it I'd read an interview with Antonioni in which he explained a bit of what he intended with it: among... Read morePublished 12 months ago by farington
Michelangelo, who gave you the right to that name? Your parents? Did they actually think that you would be a famous artist someday? Read morePublished 13 months ago by Albarelli
Great cinematography. Good acting, but a very depressing movie.Published 15 months ago by P. Henderson
Really interesting movie holding its appeal even after all this years. Though it is a movie for cinematography crowd.Published 20 months ago by charmy
The Red Desert is hard going for anyone too used to modern American film traditions. But it is eerily good in its way, and Monica Viti is amazing. Read morePublished 22 months ago by B. de Boinville
After L'aaventura one of Antonioni's best. The color photography is brilliant. One of the best colorist films ever produced then or now.Published on May 16, 2014 by studio one