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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

IL GRIDO/THE OUTCRY (1957)

The classic Michelangelo Antonioni style is seen in chrysalis here, just before his international breakout in L’AVENTURA in 1960. Steve Cochran has lived with married Alida Valli for 7 years, but when news of her husband’s death comes, he’s dumped for a younger man. He quits town to roam the muddy Po Valley with daughter in tow looking for a life, a job, a woman, a feeling; something to fill the gap. Although the plot mechanics are less vague & the people more grindingly lower class than in Antonioni’s later manner, the themes of alienation, existentialism, & angst-ridden passion spent amongst industrial wastelands are already in place. Antonioni demonstrates his talent for compositional management between man, land & structure, but he remains a one-trick pony of an artist for whom your first encounter will mesmerize while latter visits go reductio ad absurdum. Choose your initial pic carefully.

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