7 Apr 2011
Italy, 1964 Directed: Michelangelo Antonioni. Starring: Monica Vitti, Richard Harris.
It’s cold outside. Everyone is abandoning the streets and wrapping up in a miserable mountain of blankets. Itching to venture outside, but not wanting to bear the cold leaves one anxious and nervous. And so, I decided to dig out Michelanglo Antonioni‘s The Red Desert to revisit the nervous and beautiful Giulia.
Of all the glamour goddesses of the 1960s, I feel that Monica Vitti is a lesser known star to today’s generation. Perhaps this is because she mostly worked in her native language, Italian. She is a stunning girl and exudes a most “classically glamourous” style.
The Red Desert was Antonioni‘s first attempt at a colour film. He said he wanted “paint the film as one paints the canvas” that is to say, not to limit himself to only natural colour schemes. The result is starkly grey backdrops, the backyards of working factories with an apocalyptic touch dotted with crisp vibrantly coloured coats and dresses of Giulia (Vitti). It’s more colour blocking!! Just suitably winter for my side of the planet.
It’s a refreshing reminder, that just because is grey and grubby outside, doesn’t mean you have to accessorise to match.