Story of a Love Affair
(Cronaca di un amore)

Screening on Film
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.
With Lucia Bosè, Massimo Girotti, Ferdinando Sarmi.
Italy, 1950, 35mm, black & white, 96 min.
Italian with English subtitles.
Print source: Cinecittà Luce

In his feature debut Antonioni takes a few pages from The Postman Always Rings Twice (and Ossessione) to describe tormented, detached souls fluttering helplessly in post-war Milan. When a wealthy industrialist hires a private detective to uncover what lies beyond his beautiful wife’s diamond-and-silk-encrusted veneer, he unintentionally pushes his moody caged bird into a dark web of adultery and conspiracy. The illicit lovers are distanced by class and burdened by the weight of secrets, guilt and ultimately, a passive indifference that proves as powerful a force as active passion. Vestiges of late Antonioni are already visible in the long takes and carefully composed frames that almost coalesce into noir and yet, in Antonioni’s hands become desolate, melancholic dances between figures as isolated from each other as they are from their inner selves.

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