Well, it's utterly wonderful- i see why it's critic David Thomson's favourite film.
I hadn't realised Antonioni had so much humour. Forget angst, this film is in love with cinema as an art form and in love with life. It overflows with a love of creation, space, architecture, the possibilities that each shot and scene can open up. It's a film about freedom and it's totally liberating.
Edges of the frames, Tati, off-screen space, bikes crossing the screen, Angelopoulos, desert, Paris Texas, Until the End of the World (is this one of WW's favourites? can't remember, seems it must be), genre-defying, road movie, cars, Pierrot le Fou, Weekend, colour, Contempt, Voyage to Italy, voyeuristic mystery, church scene, Carlotta + Vertigo, tape recording, Blow Out- Blow Up, escape (including identity), The Sheltering Sky, 360 degree pan, camera moves, mirrors, Lady from Shanghai, Touch of Evil, Mr Arkadin, speech mannerism- Kubrickian deadpan/pauses- red, The Shining (+ its opening shot of car from above), great locations, widescreen, compositional precision, Jenny Runacre-Vanessa Redgrave-Monica Vitti (!), Maria Schneider-Anna Karina, Nicholson- Harvey Keitel for Angelopoulos, the music (a couple of lovely moments), Spain (wow, love that ending).. just things that came to mind, may cohere some time
What's not to love? And that camera edging through the bars, we're freed, a miracle, Bresson eat your heart out; i nearly had an orgasm (well, perhaps i exaggerate, but it's so exhilarating). You can see that famous scene on its own as an academic exercise, which i 'd done, but it really comes alive, carries weight of meanings only as part of the whole feature- perhaps why some admired experimental films don't do much for me. I mention Bresson cos for me it's a sublime moment of spiritual release to match anything in A Man Escaped (for all that film's superb + meticulous creation of tension); yet another deft touch- as it approaches the bars (i'd been busy admiring the scene's geometric interest), ever closer, there's a growing urge..and then like levitating or flying in a dream, we find we're freed, we can do + achieve anything. Some time since i had a dream flight but i do fancy hand/g-gliding.
One of the most vivacious films ever made, never heavy-handed or pompous; Antonioni-ennui? Nah!