Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Cast: Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti
Italy,117’, 1964, color
Italian with Turkish subtitles
Antonioni’s 1960s panoramas of contemporary alienation were decade-defining artistic events, and Red Desert, his first color film, is perhaps his most epochal. This provocative look at the spiritual desolation of the technological age—about a disaffected woman, brilliantly portrayed by Antonioni muse Monica Vitti, wandering through a bleak industrial landscape beset by power plants and environmental toxins, and tentatively flirting with her husband’s coworker, played by Richard Harris—continues to keep viewers spellbound. With one startling, painterly composition after another—of abandoned fishing cottages, electrical towers, looming docked ships—Red Desert creates a nearly apocalyptic image of its time, and confirms Antonioni as cinema’s preeminent poet of the modern age.
Berggren acquires the techniques of photography in Berlin and holds different jobs in various European cities before arriving in İstanbul. Initially en route to Marseille, he disembarks from his ship in 1866 and settles in İstanbul, where he is to spend the rest of his life.
I walk over rocks hot as iron under the September sun. I can make out a few lines in the distance, and a few cracked rocks, but apart from those, not a single tree, not one plant. I have walked until I reached this hill, in the trail of the letter that hurled me once again to my home town...
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