Blow-Up - IFFAM - 4th International Film Festival and Awards ‧ Macao

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UK, Italy, US | 1966 | 111’ | DCP | Colour | English | Group: C
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

2019/12/09 19:15 Cinematheque‧Passion

Programmer’s Note

When Michelangelo Antonioni took on swinging London in his marvelous puzzle of a thriller Blow-Up, he not only definitively captured the revolution of fashion, art, drugs, sex and protest that had engulfed the city, but also made his finest film. David Hemmings oozes ‘60s sex appeal and condescending charm as the photographer who comes to believe that he has photographed a murder one morning in a park. This being Antonioni, we will never find out what has really happened, but the mystery lies in what he thinks he saw and what the photographer – and film-maker – makes us think we see.

Beautifully shot in brilliant fashion-house colours by Carlo DiPalma, the film is impossibly cool and features a Herbie Hancock jazz score, a live performance by The Yardbirds and a trendy cast of actresses and models including Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, Jane Birkin and Veruschka (the young women are often unflatteringly referred to as “birds” or “bitches”). For all the trappings, it is classic Antonioni, and ends – in characteristically enigmatic style – with a mime group miming a tennis match, challenging us to question whether what we are seeing is real.

– Mike Goodridge


London. The mid-1960s. Thomas is a hip photographer who divides his time between artistic photography of city life and his work with fashion models. He abandons a model shoot one morning, and wanders into a nearby park where he starts taking shots of a pair of lovers enjoying a morning liaison. But when the woman sees him, she is furious and demands that he gives her the film. She even pursues him to his studio to get the film back. She leaves with the wrong roll, and when Thomas develops and blows up the real pictures, he begins to think that he was unwittingly photographing a murder.


Michelangelo Antonioni

Born in 1912, Antonioni was a journalist and critic before becoming a screenwriter and short film director. His first feature was Story of A Love Affair (1950) and a series of films in the 1950s such as I Vinti (1952), Le Amiche (1955) started his famous experimentations with form and narrative, leading to his international breakthrough L’Avventura (1960) and its sibling features on alienation La Notte (1961) and L’Eclisse (1962). He made three classics in English: Blow-Up (1966), Zabriskie Point (1970) . He won the Golden Bear at Berlin for La Notte, the Palme d’Or at Cannes for Blow-Up and the Golden Lion at Venice for Red Desert (1964). He won an honorary Oscar in 1995, and died at the age of 94 in 2007.

Cast & Crew

Director Michelangelo Antonioni

Scriptwriter(s) Michelangelo Antonion, Tonino Guerra, Edward Bond

Producer(s) Carlo Ponti

Cinematographer Carlo Di Palma

Production Designer Assheton Gorton

Editor Frank Clarke

Music Herbert Hancock

Costumes Designer Jocelyn Rickards

Cast David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles

Production Companies Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Premier Productions, Carlo Ponti Productions, Bridge Films


World Sales Park Circus

Director's Choice