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La Notte Blu-ray Review

La Notte Blu-ray

“La Notte” is a deep, but cold character study.

“La Notte” explores the relationship (and inner turmoil) of a novelist (Giovanni) and his wife (Lidia) as they travel around Milan. As the two visit a dying friend and attend parties together, it becomes quite apparent that the two are drifting away from one another and that their marriage is falling apart.

As you can tell from the plot synopsis, “La Notte” is light on story and plot. In typical Michelangelo Antonioni fashion, this film is a character study/art film through and through. To say there’s a lot going on here under the surface is an understatement as the film explores themes and ideas of friendship, loss, marriage, love, pain, infidelity, change, regret, and holding onto the past. It’s a very deep film to be sure, but the ideas presented here are much more intriguing than what is happening on screen.

While “La Notte” is beautifully shot and directed, Antonioni’s film is rather cold and sluggish. It’s difficult to connect to the characters and events on screen as they aren’t exactly engaging in the way similar works like “Journey To Italy” and “Eyes Wide Shut” are. Now, that’s not to say that cast members Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau aren’t doing their jobs. They both give fine performances here, but they only have so much to work with as the characters are meant to be keeping their emotions inside.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This new digital restoration is predictably great work from Criterion. Antonioni fans will undoubtedly be thrilled by the crisp and clear B&W transfer.

Audio Track: Italian LPCM Mono with white English subtitles. How does it sound? While perhaps lacking the standard hi-def audio quality, the cleaned up track is still impressive.

Extras:
* A booklet containing essays by Richard Brody and director Michelangelo Antonioni.
* A “La Notte” trailer.
* An interview with film professor Giuliana Bruno who discusses the significance of architecture in “La Notte.”
* An interview with film critic Adriano Apra and film historian Carlo di Carlo. The two discuss Antonioni, the film’s style, the structure, the characters, and more.

Overall Thoughts: Fans of director Michelangelo Antonioni will be thrilled by this Blu-ray release, but if you’re looking to check out a film by Antonioni, I’d suggest giving “L’Avventura” a whirl first.

November 12, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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