Directed by: Michelangelo Antonioni
Countries & Regions: Italy
Length: 105 mins
Region: Region B
Released: 21 March 2011
Cat No: EKA70031
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La Signora senza Camelie (Masters of Cinema)
Classic film drama from the legendary Italian director, Michelangelo Antonioni. When Clara (Lucia Bose) is plucked from obscurity by film... Read More
The superb presentation of this first-ever British commercial release of Michelangelo Antonioni's third feature (albeit his second to be screened after 'I Vinti' ran into censorship difficulties) should go some way towards correcting its undeserved neglect.
While it's no L'Avventura or Red Desert, Lucia Bosè's shopgirl-turned-film star Clara Manni anticipates the alienated female protagonists later incarnated by Monica Vitti, while Antonioni's formal control and presentation of architecture and space is already masterly: as Robert Benayoun comments in the booklet "Antonioni is the only director in the whole history of cinema to have expressed without prejudice the power that locations hold over human emotions".
Its cynical study of the Italian film industry anticipates François Truffaut's Day for Night as it tracks the career of two producers as they negotiate that ever-perilous tightrope between art and commerce. Gianni marries Clara, intending to make her a great tragedian, while Ercole thinks that she's more suited to the trashy, eroticised costume melodramas with which she first made her name. Small wonder that Clara seeks refuge in the arms of a diplomat with no showbiz connections, but this naturally creates its own complications.