Directed by: Michelangelo Antonioni
Countries & Regions: France, Italy
Studio: Mr Bongo Records
Length: 125 mins
Region: Region 0
Released: 30 June 2008
Cat No: MRBDVD08
Screen ratio 1:1.78
Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital 2.0
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Identification of a Woman
Niccolo needs a female character for his next film project, but his ideas for both project and protagonist are somewhat vague. As his... Read More
Two very different films from one of the greatest directors in the history of the cinema: L'Avventura is, of course, the film classic that changed the face of cinema with its visual beauty and cool existential tone. It looks as impressive in the 21st century as when it was first released. Interestingly, that film (despite its arthouse credentials) centred on an unresolved mystery, as does the much later Identification of a Woman. Intriguingly, the latter now looks rather like Antonioni's essay in the Italian giallo thriller form, with what is essentially a crime novel plot. Gialli, however, usually provide a resolution, however implausible - and that has never been part of the director’s agenda.
In a different style from his more famous 1960s films, but still recognisably Antonioni, Identification of a Woman is a story about a film-maker in crisis. He needs a woman for his next film but it is not clear if what he is looking for is a character, an actress, or just a woman to fill a gap in his own life. His wanderings in search of this mystery figure take him to unexpected places and into unexpected situations and along the way he learns a few things about women he didn’t know before. But at the end of the day he is no closer than when he started. Realising the pitfalls of mixing art and life, he decides to abandon his search and do something different. I won’t give away the ending, but let’s say that what Antonioni does with his character is the exact opposite of what Fellini does in 8 1/2.
Identification of a Woman extended Antonioni’s exploration of themes of searching, uncertainty and alienation. The passing of time has served to confirm its high stature in the Antonioni canon.