RED DESERT is a poetry from director Michelangelo Antonioni about industrial world and the environment around it. He also adds some elements such as alienation, loneliness, and existential problems. RED DESERT said to us that it's okay if you think that industrial place could give some bad effect. But we must be able to see that there must be a beauty beneath. Monica Vitti is amazing and very interesting as usual...
A woman in a modern desert, her mind abuzz, but surrounded by men who are drawn to her body. That description fits just about every character Monica Vitti ever played for Antonioni, but this may be its most potent incarnation, purely for how the addition of a frenzied mental illness makes her the only one in step with a chilling industrialized world. An immediate masterpiece for a director who is so often obscure.
It's funny how Antonioni can express both the poetic and disparaging side of industrialization, call it "spiritual desolation." Almost an apocalyptic future, then again most of Antonioni's films are like abstract art. With captivating and intimate performances of Monica Vitti and the late great Richard Harris.
RED DESERT probably remains my favourite Antonioni. One could in the strictest clinical sense say the film is about neurosis, not be wrong, and still almost entirely miss the point. This is a jarring leap forward for Antonioni in that the implications of technological rationalism are made devastatingly explicit. The casually worst in me is there in rational Richard Harris's frigid entanglement w/ tormented Vitti.
From the opening shots to the last scene, this film tinkers on the edge of sanity. Both unnerving and edgy, it must be one of the earliest films to address mental illness this way. The film is also daring and refuses to gather speed for restful audiences, instead it plods along slowly, casting its very unique spell on all those who allow themselves to be conscious of its many depths. Monica Vitti is spellbinding.
Giuliana, épouse d'un directeur d'usine, a été très éprouvée par un récent accident de voiture. Il lui arrive souvent d'errer parmi les machines. Elle y rencontre Corrado Zeller, le meilleur ami de son mari qui lui aussi se sent perdu : ils sont vivement attirés l'un par l'autre ..... www.cinefiches.com
Rewatch after about five years. By '64 Antonioni was synonymous with fashionable 'alienation' in cinema but here he pushed film language to the point of 'alienating' the viewer (blurred foregrounds, beams splitting frames, etc.) and created an absurdist vision of modernity that has corroded the world down into a new dark age (aphrodisiacs, disease panic, portrayal of food, etc.). A foil to Resnais' Chant du Styrene.