Blow-Up (1966) torrent download

Blow-Up

1966

Drama / Mystery / Thriller

7.6

Synopsis

A successful mod photographer in London whose world is bounded by fashion, pop music, marijuana, and easy sex, feels his life is boring and despairing. Then he meets a mysterious beauty, and also notices something frightfully suspicious on one of his photographs of her taken in a park. The fact that he may have photographed a murder does not occur to him until he studies and then blows up his negatives, uncovering details, blowing up smaller and smaller elements, and finally putting the puzzle together.

Director

Michelangelo Antonioni

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DC1977 N/A

Success and image; fantasy and reality (SPOILERS)

Antonioni's Blow-Up was the biggest hit of the Italian director's career, the superficial elements of the fashion world, Swinging London and orgies on purple paper ensuring its commercial success.

Models such as Veruschka (who appears in the film), Twiggy and fashion photographers at the time have complained about its unrealistic depiction of the industry and claimed that its central character, Thomas (played by the late David Hemmings) was clearly based on David Bailey.

To look at Blow-Up as an analysis of the fashion business in the Sixties is to misunderstand the film's intentions. In any case, when watching this film it may be difficult to tell what its all about if you're unfamiliar with Antonioni's films but it obviously has little to do with the fashion world which is merely the setting for the story and nothing more.

Antonioni made the clearest statement of his motivation as a filmmaker at the end of Beyond the Clouds when he talked about his belief that reality is unattainable as it is submerged by layers of images which are only versions of reality.

This is a rather pretentious way of saying that everyone perceives reality in their own way and ultimately see only what they want to see.

With this philosophy in mind, Blow-Up is probably Antonioni's most personal film.

Thomas' hollow, self-obsessed world is shattered when he discovers that he may have photographed a murder when casually taking pictures in a park. He encounters a mysterious woman, Jane (Vanessa Redgrave) who demands he hand over the film and when he refuses she appears at his studio, although Thomas never told her his address.

When the evidence disappears shortly afterwards, Blow-Up seems to deal in riddles that have no solution. Redgrave re-appears and then vanishes before the photographer's eyes, Thomas returns to the park without his camera and sees the body. The film concludes with Thomas, having discovered the body has disappeared, watching a group of mimes playing tennis without a ball or rackets in the park where the murder may have taken place.

It is only in the final scene of the film where the riddle is solved. Thomas throws the imaginary ball back into the court and watches the game resume. The look of realisation on his face is all too apparent as the game CAN BE HEARD taking place out of shot.

There is a ball, there are rackets and this is a real game of tennis. What we have seen up until this point is the photographer's perception of reality: the murder, the mysterious woman in the park, the photographic evidence and the body.

The following exchange between Hemmings and Redgrave is the key to the film:

Thomas: Don't let's spoil everything, we've only just met.

Jane: No, we haven't met. You've never seen me.

Reviewed by sol- N/A

My extended review of the film

Spoilers; limited review due to word limit.

This film is an intense character study, essentially about emptiness in life. Thomas feels that everything in his life is superficial, and he wants to do something more than just take photographs. If he could solve a mystery, then his life would have a definite purpose. Therefore, he sees what he wants to see, and invents a mystery from one of his photographs.

What he sees is essentially part of his imagination. There are many factors that indicate this, such as his friend the artist who mentions that a detail in a painting "is like a clue in a detective story". Thomas plays detective in the film, however life is full of distractions, and ultimately he is unable to solve the mystery.

Time management is a key idea through the film, as Thomas is a procrastinator. He knows that there are many things that he needs to do, and he uses them as an excuse at one point, saying "I haven't even got a couple of minutes to have my appendix out", even though he fiddles with a coin, and just before that he had visited some friends. He has lost his dedication to his work. He does things because they need to be done, not because he wants to. He indulges himself in antiques, then on the spur of the moment, goes to a park.

Ultimately, Thomas wants to escape from his life. Reminders of escapism follow him about, such as a sign that a protester places in his car, with the words "go away" on it. The sign later falls out and is run over by another car, indicating how futile trying to escape life is. He meets an antiques dealer who wants out her job, and from her he purchases a propeller - a device that can be used to fly away with.

Thomas is often presented in an isolated environment, whether it be running down alleyways or wandering through a park. He is removed from the world, with no real friends or family. At one point he says that he has a wife, then he changes his mind and says that they just have kids together. Then, he admits that he has no children, and that his wife is not beautiful, but just easy to live with. Following this, he changes his mind once again and says that she is not easy to live with. Thomas wants a family, but he does not have one. He wants a wife (who need not be beautiful, since the models who he photographs are superficially beautiful) and children.

Thomas feels that his life is empty, and his photography - his work - has replaced his sex life. In one scene he photographs a model by sitting on top of her in a sexual position, and the things he calls out could be used as expressions during sex. However this is not pleasure for him - it is work. He later indulges himself with group sex, but after watching two of his friends making love, he realises how meaningless sexuality is for him.

For all these reasons, Thomas sees what he wants to see - a possible murder - something that he can take credit for. Much of the film involves this notion of seeing what one wants, which is represented by the mimes. The mimes are contrasted in the opening sequence against the gloomy England workers. At nighttime, Thomas visits the park where he photographed the supposed murder, and lo and behold, a corpse is lying there. This scene is unrealistic, as it is highly unlikely that someone would leave a corpse lying around, or that no one else had spotted it yet, however Thomas is seeing what he wants to.

After visiting the park, he tries to find someone who he can confide in about the body. He treks through a building where a rock band is playing along his journey. The fans are mostly just standing or sitting around with blank expressions. Their lives are as empty as Thomas feels that his is. They idolise rock musicians who are crazy and smash their guitars. From there, he goes to a party for sophisticated, upper-middle class people, however they are mostly smoking dope and wasting away their time. Their lives are empty too.

In the morning, Thomas visits the park again, but he is no longer as excited as he was before, and this is shown through his slow pacing and long distance photography. After seeing that others have empty lives - and are happy with them - he is unsure if he should be happy too. In the park, there is no longer the body, as he not seeing what he wants to see anymore.

The mimes return, and Thomas watches them 'play' tennis. The camera follows the imaginary ball around. The mimes seem so happy, and therefore, Thomas joins in when he has a chance. After he throws "the ball" back to them, we can hear tennis rackets hitting a ball. Thomas is still alone and isolated, even though he is finally seeing what he wants to see. His life is still empty. There is not much of a resolution to the film, and from what there is, it is bleak, but as a character study, it is engaging stuff.

The technical side of the film is great - especially the sound in some scenes, showing how isolated Thomas is that he can hear soft sounds. Every shot is set up with care, and Hemmings is superb. 'Blowup' is not the type of film that will satisfy every taste, but it has quite a lot to it.

Reviewed by joegerardi N/A

You always miss something

I would recommend that people who are considering watching this film for the first time not read the following. I don't mention the film's ending, I just believe its far more satisfying to let the films potent details nervously sink into place on their own.

It is not about cameras. It is not about seeing. It is about our perception of our individual world. It throws shadows on the very judgments we build our lives upon. Without mentioning the obvious references to illusion (the mimes, the abstract picture of the corpse, etc.), I offer the following expert signposts Antonioni leaves for us to find.

1) The guitar neck David snatches at the rave-up has value only until he is not being chased for it, whereupon he discards it in the street. The pedestrian who then picks it up sees it only as junk.

2) Dialogue with his model friend at the pot party: DAVID - ` I thought you were in Paris.' THE GIRL - `I am'.

3) Appearances and Disappearance (2 of the many). The Lynn Redgrave character pops up as he arrives at his apartment. His question `How did you find me' is not explained. Later in the story, it is notably odd when David wakes up the following morning after the pot party that there is no one to be seen in the party house. Even the decorations like the clothes hung on the statue the night before have vanished.

4) David teaches the affectations of smoking to the woman. She must create an impression.

5) His painter friend describes his painting. `They don't mean anything to me while I work on them. Its only later that I ascribed something to them. Like this leg.' Whereupon he points out a place in a painting that might be a human leg. When he paints, he is tapping subconscious language, something apart from subjective and objective reality. Its as if Antonioni is offering us an even further vantage point to the events to come, dream reality.

6) The rambling diversion of events shows David's inability to `focus' on working through his mystery.

7) So much is hidden from the viewer. Its almost suggested that the real end to the narrative takes place someplace after the movie has already finished, jarring our sense of story, insinuating an ending we never get to `see'.

8) David announces at one point to his friend, `If only I had more money I'd be all right.'. Meanwhile he drives through the whole movie in his Rolls Royce.

This is a very remarkable film. I was irked by the pacing and the diversions as I watched it, but that was exactly why it all kept coming and coming at me for hours after until finally in bed it all rushed through me like a gorgeous musical event. I know for certain there are many more hidden corners to it, but this is what I got in my first viewing. Just that gut feeling that I missed something, I believe, is exactly where Antonioni was going. You always miss something.

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