This was one of the reviews on The Auteurs for L’Avventura:
Bergman never understood why Antonioni was held in high esteem.
Antonioni let the visuals do the work – one must watch it all.
Relative to Antonioni, Bergman’s films could be ‘watched’ on the radio.
In literature, you are either a Jack Kerouac fan or a Norman Mailer fan.
I think there might be that same sort of relationship here:
you’re either a Antonioni fan or a Bergman fan.
Maybe ironic that Antonioni and Bergman died on the same day in 2007- July 30.
It’s a gross simplification.
Some Bergman Quotes on Antonioni:
“Fellini, Kurosawa and Bunuel move in the same field as Tarkovsky. Antonioni was on his way, but expired, suffocated by his own tediousness.”
- The Magic Lantern
“He’s done two masterpieces, you don’t have to bother with the rest. One is Blow-Up, which I’ve seen many times, and the other is La Notte, also a wonderful film, although that’s mostly because of the young Jeanne Moreau. In my collection I have a copy of Il Grido, and damn what a boring movie it is. So devilishly sad, I mean. You know, Antonioni never really learned the trade. He concentrated on single images, never realising that film is a rhythmic flow of images, a movement. Sure, there are brilliant moments in his films. But I don’t feel anything for L’Avventura, for example. Only indifference. I never understood why Antonioni was so incredibly applauded. And I thought his muse Monica Vitti was a terrible actress.”
Did Bergman ever explain what he meant with all his harsh criticism? I never have seen a real explanatios to what he says and that in my opinion undermines his opinon.
No. You could compare Bergman to any other filmmaker and ever other filmmaker to any other filmmaker and I would stil say no… maybe I just haven’t had my coffee.
Maybe you have to be alive when all of this is happening to fully evaluate what is going on.
This comparison between Antonioni and Bergman is truly nuts.
I love them both, for entirely different reasons. I don’t pit them against each other. They make me happy in different ways.
It is impossible to quantify. Period.
I’ll credit my original quoted review on this thread to Robert W Peabody III
Eeh, no. I don’t feel that assessment man, I don’t FEEL it.
“In my collection I have a copy of Il Grido, and damn what a boring movie it is. So devilishly sad, I mean.”
I don’t mean to sound so pretentious. These opinions have been aired many times.
Bergman was a man of the theater. Antonioni was the essence of cinema.
They came to the art from different directions but they both did great things.
Maybe you can compare the performances of Monica Vitti and Bibi Andersson for what they contribute to the finished product. Antonioni and Bergman are such polar opposites. I just don’t know.
Both have the unprecedented ability to drag out drama in a film to the point of unintended comedy. :oP
If the two of them is all there is to cinema then it’s an art form I’ll take a pass on.
They give many kinds of pleasure. It isn’t all intellectual. Try “Monika.”
“Le amiche” and “Tystnaden” are both fascinating, similar in some approaches to secrets of women, but also gives different point of the one from the South, and the other one from the North. But, “Il grido” s not boring, and Monica, she’s terrible but as Modesty Blaise, and in private life… Howard said it’s nuts, and he is right, and Bergman was at bad mood when written things like this.
I think during their Formal period there were some similarities. I remember thinking of Persona and Blow Up as films akin to each other.
I think that Antonioni held aesthetics in higher regard than Bergman ever did; to him it was the visual elements that were the driving narrative force. Bergman relied much more on dialogue, and, while visually relevant in his own right, he was not overly concerned with it.
While their respective emphasis and technique varied, each director was singularly great. Pitting them against each other is not only overly simplistic, it is to miss the point entirely.
I have never seen the point of comparing directors. Each brings his own unique vision and personal perspective to the screen.
I can kind of see the point of comparing them, as they are both two of the most “serious” arthouse directors of the 50s through the 70s, whose films were both very concerned with modern emotions, the intricate interactions in relationships, and the human condition in general. Both can be seen as very dour, morose, or just plain arty-farty and boring by the general movie-watching public.
However, the comparison in this thread is way too oversimplified, and not very accurate. Bergman was also an extraordinarily visual director, for one thing, and they are certainly not opposites in most ways, despite Bergman’s cattiness. They may have used very different means to stress their themes, but much of the end result, what you take or feel from watching their films, is usually quite similar, it seems to me. They certainly have more in common than the statement above implies.
Anyway, for me they are both quite wonderful, but they are certainly weighty and contemplative cinema; not quite what you want to watch to pep you up for going out on a Saturday night.
I think the way that Bergman and Antonioni portray women is quite profound. I think they show women the way they perceive the world themselves rather than directors like Fellini, who is a great director, who make women into sex objects from a man’s point of view. Women such as Monica Vitti, Jean Moreau, Bibi Andersson, and Liv Ullman are much more mature than their male counterparts within those films. They are much more practical, such as Liv Ullman in Shame thinking about the future of her marriage with Max Von Sydow or like how Monica Vitti considers the ramifications of her relationship with the Gabrielle Verzetti character in L’avventura and how unfaithful he is to her.
HAL 9000, amen.
Amen again, HAL 9000. They are both very “mature” directors in the way they portray female characters- another example of how much they have in common.
These gross over simplifications and campiness really grind my gears. You don’t have to either belong to Bergman or Antonioni, to Bresson or Fellini or Chaplin or Keaton.
Also, most directors compete to see who can be more flippant. Although people accuse Bergman of being too theatrical, people (I’m thinking Bresson and Bergman) accuse Antonioni of being too photographic. These are just examples of directors with narrow minded views of what film should be and who refuse to understand different styles.
Charlesdegaulle, don’t encourage this type of behaviour.
Bergman is rarely wrong in his statements about other filmmakers.
Bergman’s cinema is psychological (relies on a gamut of human emotions that include despair but also love, joy, ambivalence, desire, etc.), and Antonioni’s cinema is external (relies on empty characters and settings to convey emptiness, disconnection, and despair, leaving out human emotions and showing us only their traces). Bergman was interested in looking at people from the inside, as complex maps of interconnected motives and desires, not from the outside as disaffected models in which the frame encompassing them was as meaningful as their own thoughts and feelings.
Bergman’s affection for BLOW-UP may have been due to the fact that in it, the disaffected fashion photographer (Antonioni’s persona as director) is the subject of the film, thus creating a point of psychological realism that Bergman could identify with. And in LA NOTTE, the other film Bergman likes, Jeanne Moreau’s own quality of deadness is the subject of the film (Antonioni having used her in the way she was often used by other directors, to convey an existentialist despair that she naturally exuded). Monica Vitti was too puppet-like for Bergman, too opaque. He wanted to turn a magnifying glass into peoples’ souls, and no matter how much you magnify Monica Vitti, all you get is a larger image, but no more detail.
You may read your own meanings into Antonioni’s characters, but they don’t convey those meanings easily, and your view will always be a projection of your own thoughts and desires. In our culture today creating artwork that behaves as a projection screen is seen as the highest form of art, and controlling the audience’s feelings and reactions too much ahead of time by providing easy answers is seen as old-fashioned and even politically incorrect and coercive. But in the 1960s, when most films were psychological and theatrical, many thought Antonioni’s films were the work of a charlatan and a poseur.
But in the 1960s, when most films were psychological and theatrical, many thought Antonioni’s films were the work of a charlatan and a poseur.
You were there^ then?
It ‘s a phenomenon that has been documented. Many were not ready for Antonioni’s difficult, slow, and innovative cinema, and found it tedious and boring as Bergman did. One example is the title of an article from a 1967 issue of Variety: “Most Fans think Antonioni is a Cheese.”
Bergman pioneered the dark psychology behind relationships.
He was the God-like-relator in terms of insight to the art film goers of the 60’s – how significant would that have been in period like the 60’s? people reassessing their identity? their history?
Btw, did you notice your post is exactly like Barry’s post? separated at birth?
Antonioni is still difficult (except for maybe BLOW-UP) to most audiences who aren’t already open to “art films,” perhaps because of his scarcity of dialogue and reliance on visuals. I know they resonated with many in the ‘60s, (in fact they were quite hip in some crowds) but as I said earlier, there were many who just thought they were bad. Bergman’s films were much more continuous with what people were used to because of their heavy use of psychology and dialogue. SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE was a made for TV film, and was wildly popular. But a lot of people thought Bergman was bad too. I was just pointing out that Bergman was not alone in thinking Antonioni was a charlatan.
I meant a miniseries (SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE)