I never heard the speech by Antonioni about the inability of morality to evolve. But I would suggest that that is because morality more and more is power-based, used to manipulate or to gain one-up on another human being. An artist or monk or anyone else who gains a moral insight and then communicates it, it quickly becomes a weapon for advantage in the hands of fear-based, power-grabbing fools. The great artists steer clear of judgment--they are explorers, and they, more than anyone, are usually surprized in what they find.
I actually arrived at this site in search of some info on a remarkable film I found at random, knowing nothing about the film in advance, and then seeing it I couldn't find any information on it (Angel Dust)--I just loved how the plot develops around two elite professionals who cannot escappe inflicting damage out of their vast emptiness.
I don't really know enough about film to be involved in discussions (I never read a book about films, except Tarkovsky's Sculpting in Time. I just early on lived in films and have been profoundly affected by them, and that's why I appreciate every attempt of an artist, regardless how talented, to pursue truth in this medium).
Nana, you are right--it's easy to discover alienation themes, and that's because they're everywhere, because, in fact, they are everywhere in life! It's almost as if an artist not acknowledging that at some level somehow avoids encountering any character of substance. Maybe I did read too much into Requiem, although it seems Aronofsky is direct in his compassionate portrayal of really good, decent persons pursuing the good in the only context they are familiar with. What is tragic is not the relentless horror, but that it is happening to people who are essentially good. And for me this is a metaphor for the human predicament in our time. As a child I would be physically tortured on a regular basis, whereas my sister had gifts and praise showered on her in every minute. She was tortured in a more subtle way, and she would eventually commit suicide. What saved me is that the violence was in my face, I knew what it was and could more easily deal with it. Alice Miller in her pop psychology book, The Drama of the Gifted Child, states that abuse, no matter how severe, doesn't make a child crazy. What drives a kid mad is abuse that cannot be acknowledged, when the kid actually questions his/her sense of being tortured. I would suggest that what Aronofsky is showing is what was done to most of us in the latter part of the 20th century. It is that severe, and the main reason we shut down (a form of madness-dissociation)is that we have no justification to feel damaged. That's why I call Requiem an autopsy on the human condition. He cuts through the surface of calm and finds a story of relentless torture.