Hmm... I don't know how to describe this movie properly. Maybe, just maybe, BLOW-UP is a kind of movie that will make a few audiences feel disappointed. Often classified as mystery or thriller genre, BLOW-UP doesn't really offer a satisfying conclusion. This movie still left some mysteries unsolved. Director Michelangelo Antonioni just showed us the process and the questions. But he just didn't give the answers...
It's labeled as a thriller, but is the furthest thing from thrilling. Waaaaaay too much fluff. The action time of the plot totals maybe 10-15 minutes, the rest is heavily centered around how big of an asshole Hemming's character is. The only thing I can say for it is London seen through Antonioni's romantic, Italian eye- a far cry from the drab, gloomy portrait so often painted by British directors of that time.
I do love this film. And it is deserved of five stars. But as someone who lives in London, I prefer seeing the stripped back exoticism of places like Milan, Sicily or Barcelona from the maestro's other work. And therefore it holds less of a place in my heart. What does that say about me?
Revisit 3: Yes, amid so much meaninglessness--never an exclusively dismal nihility, but rather one often full of a puzzling sense of jubilance--there's nonetheless an immense deal of energy, spontaneity & diversion: an aggressive, somewhat cruel threesome, an impulsive purchase of a propeller, outbursts of erratic, childish behavior. But when the failure of purpose becomes altogether palpable, what's left is anguish.
If his four previous films were about not being seen, Blow-Up is Antonioni's study of seeing everything. (And yet still not seeing?) At first I hated the pace, found the main character stupid and repulsive, didn't understand the casting. Then about 40 minutes in everything clicked and I was entranced. Antonioni does it again.
Though he was already inarguably a giant of world cinema, one must concede that Antonioni made a discernible leap w/ BLOW-UP, and not just out of Italy or into the realm of the "popular." This is a movement from the implicitly metaphysical to the explicitly metaphysical. This is a leap into puzzle-logic and high-minded world-modeling. There is also the epistemological register: you blow things up and you get blur.