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Film Film March 17, 1998
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Michelangelo Antonioni
Blowup
1966

The quintessential art-house film, Blowup is a popular target for post-modern pot shots. And though Antonioni's cynical rumination on swinging-60's London may be a bit dated, there are still several elements that remain engaging today. The movie follows fashion photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) as he meanders through a typical day of terrorizing models, snapping gritty working-class scenes for his "book", shagging groupies, smoking herb, and just being generally arty and affected. The conflict comes in the form of a murder that Thomas has unwittingly photographed and young Vanessa Redgrave's entreaties for the return of the negatives. The resolution comes in the form of a troupe of mimes playing tennis. Bottom line: Blowup is funny and fun and, at the end of the day, European moral ambiguity is still refreshing when it doesn't hammer you over the head. Carlo Di Palma deserves special notice for his work as director of photography.


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