Saturday, June 21, 2008

[Michelangelo Antonioni Retrospective] Con Michelangelo (2005)

Directed by his wife Enrica, Con Michelangelo played out more like a home video in its story it wants to tell, and capturing moments where Michelangelo Antonioni was both at work and at play. Despite an unforunate stroke in 1985 which left him partially paralyzed, we still see he is very much alive in the mind and continues to work on paintings, as we observe how he manages to direct a third party into transforming his thoughts and design onto paper, and at times, throws the occasional tantrum in frustration when his intent does not get through.

While it is indeed a treat to watch the master in action, the film tended to dwell a lot more about his life in general, with occasions such as his birthday celebrations, as well as his vacations to Venice and London. Included here as well is a trip to the Cannes International Film Festival in 2004, where a restored version of his film Blowup was screened, and being the guest of honor, he received a standing ovation no less. Also screened at the festival was Gaze of Michelangelo, which was the earlier short film that was screened in today's retrospective.

Perhaps I was expecting a lot more of a more conventional documentary about the life of Michelangelo Antonioni, but what was delivered was something different, more of a snapshot of the life of the late Maestro (a term we hear a lot here) in his later years.

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