Michelangelo Antonioni 1912-2007

Wow. Learning the news this morning that Michelangelo Antonioni, one of the founding directors of Italian Neorealism, died was just a bit of a shock. To find out that he died on the same day as Ingmar Bergman… well, wow.

In the history of cinema the new wave of international cinema in the 50’s and 60’s was significant for several reasons. First, it took filmmaking back after ‘creating’ the genre at the turn of the century. Classical Hollywood transformed the genre– no questions asked. Filmmaking wouldn’t be what it is without Hollywood. But it wouldn’t be what it is without the avant garde filmmakers like Bergman and Antonioni {and Kurosawa and Buñuel and Fellini and Bresson and Ray and Rossellini and Godard and DeSica and…}. Hollywood hit a lull after the World War II. Combine that with the human spirit in artists who lived, literally, through that war and you had a filmmaking movement that change cinema forever. Second, the art house movement created by these films changed the style and the business of filmmaking. The independent film movement that Americans like to talk about so much, well, it began with the avant garde movement. Watching a film like Efter brylluppet (After the Wedding), you see the influence of those filmmakers is still as fresh 50+ years later.

I, would like, in this instance for the old wives tale that “deaths come in threes” to be wrong. These two are more than enough.


About Amy L. Darnell

Teacher, scholar, student, wonderer, wanderer, fan, foe, friend, acquaintance, all of these and more, but ultimately just an Ohio daughter.
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