I am velvety-smoothReview is BELOWI am veltely smooth, too
DVD: Blow-Up (1966)
Review Rating:   Good  
...back to Index
Warner Bros 
Catalog #:
...or start from scratch
1 (NTSC)

February 17, 2004



Genre: Suspense  
A swinging London photographer discovers he may have photographed evidence of a murder, but finds an increasingly blurry boundary between reality, and a wild imagination.



Directed by:

Michelangelo Antonioni
Screenplay by: Michelangelo Antonioni,  Tonino Guerra
Music by: Herbie Hancock
Produced by: Carlo Ponti

Vanessa Redgrave,  David Hemmings,  Sarah Miles,  John Castle,  Jane Birkin,  Gillian Hills,  Peter Bowles,  Verushka,  The Yardbirds

Film Length: 111 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.85:1
Anamorphic DVD: Yes
Languages:   English (Mono),  French (Mono) / English,  French,  Spanish Subtitles
Special Features :  

Audio Commentary by Peter Brunette, author of "The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni" / Stereo Music-only audio track / Theatrical Trailer and Teaser for "Blow-Up" (1.85:1 Anamorphic)

Comments :

Italian art director Michelangelo Antonioni's first English-language film was treated in the trailers as a cause celebre, and indeed it's rather surprising a major Hollywood studio chose to finance the project, given the director's prior work; while beloved by critics and cineastes, their length, coldness and sometimes idiosyncratic nature weren't exactly accessible to mainstream audiences weaned on standard studio fare.

Peter Brunette's commentary track is less theoretical than expected – not a bad thing, since essays on What The Director Meant tend to abound with Antonioni's work – and Brunette's critical observations should make it clear to listeners why “Blow Up” is such an important film; both for the director, and a Hollywood studio.

Brunette, himself a film professor, also explains key scenes that were deemed highly controversial during the film's release (the pot smoking, alcohol, nudity, and sexual freedom were major draws for the youth market). The film's still an excellent capsule of Sixties abstract design, but Brunette's early dismissal of Julio Cortázar's novel, used as the script's springboard, results in a missed opportunity to further the director's changes and inspired digressions as examples of what sets Antonioni apart from both Hollywood and European colleagues.

Having photographed the director's prior film and first colour work, “The Red Desert,” Carlo Di Palma's compositions and colours are still very modern; the gentrification of London's grubby industrial and middle class locales are captured during stages of razing, erecting, and sanitizing; and the navy blue glass panes used during a fashion shoot sum up not only the photographer's own taste for clean objects stripped to their essentials (which also include his models), but Antonioni's own unadorned visual and aural tastes.

Herbie Hancock's superb jazz score, along with songs by The Yardbirds, plays as source music, and are effectively balanced with a sound design that's sparse but far above mere functionality. Like the laserdisc, Hancock's music is isolated in a separate stereo track, with some music not present on the best-selling soundtrack album.

Offering early feature roles for actresses Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Birkin and Sarah Miles, “Blow-Up” also catapulted angular David Hemmings into brooding leading man roles before starting a lengthy career as a director, producer, and later co-founder of Hemdale Films. Before his death in 2003, Hemmings also appeared in the BBC documentary “Fame, Fashion and Photography: The Real Blow Up,” and commented on auditioning for and working with Antonioni.

Antonioni's next studio-financed pictures – “Zabriskie Point” (1970) and “The Passenger” (1975) – didn't fare as well, but remain cult favorites, deserving similarly respectful DVD releases.


© 2004 Mark R. Hasan

_IMDB Entry________Script Online _________Fan/Official Film site________Cast/Crew Link
_IMDB Detailed Entry_______Scripts available online ________Fan/Official Film Site__________Additional Related Sites
____Amazon.com __________Amazon.ca _________Bay Street Video_______Comparisons_
__Amazon.com_____Amazon.ca (Canada)_ _Basy Street Video info______Compare Different Region releases_
_Soundtrack CD__________CD Review__________LP Review__________Composer Filmog.
Soundtrack Album_________Soundtrack Review_______Yes, VINYL_________Composer Filmography/Discography at Soundtrack Collector.com

Site designed for 1024 x 768 resolution, using 16M colours, and optimized for MS Explorer 6.0. KQEK Logo and All Original KQEK Art, Interviews, Profiles, and Reviews Copyright © 2001-Present by Mark R. Hasan. All Rights Reserved. Additional Review Content by Contributors 2001-Present used by Permission of Authors. Additional Art Copyrighted by Respective Owners. Reproduction of any Original KQEK Content Requires Written Permission from Copyright Holder and/or Author. Links to non-KQEK sites have been included for your convenience; KQEK is not responsible for their content nor their possible use of any pop-ups, cookies, or information gathering.