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500 Five-Star: Blow-Up (1966)

February 3, 2012



That is all.

Oh, fine.  I’ll say something else.  Believe it or not, I actually found Blow-Up to be a very intelligent, thoughtful and, at times, intriguing film.  With this film, Antonioni is exploring the emotional detachment found within the social scene of the ‘swinging sixties’, and the need for its participants to create something tangible to hold onto, in order to avoid total alienation from the human race.  The suburbs of 1960s London are mostly portrayed with an unsettling stillness, and the sense of disengagement between all of the characters and their surroundings is subtly disturbing.

And yet still, I find myself saying ‘uuuuuuuuuuuh’.  Because, frankly, I didn’t really care.  When the lead character finally, possibly, finds that tangible thing which might, or might not, bring about his reappearance into the world of human emotion, I am already long past the stage of wishing I could turn it off and watch America’s Next Top Model instead.  It doesn’t matter how clever or how deep a film is; if I don’t care, even minutely, I’m not going to want to spend my time pondering on its meaning.  That’s a job for people who get paid to care.  I, on the other hand, watch films for entertainment purposes.  If I am both entertained and intellectually stimulated, then all the better, but I’m not massively interested in just the latter.  I made the decision long ago to get my intellectual kicks in other areas of life, and so Blow-Up is sadly just not my thing.



Antonioni is an intelligent filmmaker, with a real interest in humankind, and I appreciate that.  Blow-Up is a thoughtfully crafted film, expressing an urgent message about its time, but while I can understand its value to critics and students, I am sad to say that it didn’t capture my attention quite so much…


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