Red Desert
(Il deserto rosso)

Screening on Film
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni .
With Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti.
Italy/France, 1964, 35mm, color, 117 min.
Italian with English Subtitles .
Print source: Janus Films

Color film provided the gifted painter Antonioni with a dynamic canvas to explore the visionary hues that profoundly saturate Red Desert, forming a moving painting that softly shifts between Abstract Expressionism and the blurred photographic canvases of Gerhard Richter. Inseparable from this psychosomatic palette, Monica Vitti is again the emotional nucleus whose ennui of the previous films has bloomed into a diagnosed neurosis, further alienating her from the inhabitants of an unbalanced world. Subsumed by the dislocating, poisonous beauty of the industrial wasteland around her, she searches for a self within her family, vague ideas of a career and the empathetic attentions of Richard Harris’ modern nomad. Antonioni invokes an intricate spectrum of hazardous divides between the working class and bourgeois, humans and nature, and as always, a disturbed Eros. Traces of horror, fairy tale and science fiction are finely woven into an ineffable texture describing humanity’s unsettling shifts in and out of a spiritual haze, looking for a stable center. 

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