La notte
(The Night)

Screening on Film
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni .
With Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, Monica Vitti .
Italy/France, 1961, 35mm, black & white, 122 min.
Italian with English Subtitles .
Print source: Cinecittà Luce

Still redolent with the doomed perfume of Fellini’s La dolce vita (1960), Marcello Mastroianni plays Giovanni, a novelist whose charming intellectualism has earned him a place as a sought-after conversation piece, while Jeanne Moreau’s taciturn Lidia gazes critically at a marriage that has dissipated into an “apathy of habit.” Over the course of one day and one night in Milan, the bourgeois couple sleepwalk through lyrically-composed, multivalent vignettes framed by city streets, hospital rooms, bars and night clubs, and finally, an elaborate party. Mapping out their separate inner journeys through the modern architecture of a displaced, emotional time and space, Antonioni’s profound soundtrack and articulate camera waltz between a cool, civil present and a lost past, between a dispassionate, pristine beauty and melancholic dissonance, between the erotic and the compassionate. His flawlessly composed anti-narrative offers an exquisite enunciation of the couple’s ambivalent attempts to negate the irrevocable loss within their union and within a disjunct modern world. 

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