La Notte [The Night] (1961)

<strong class="MovieTitle">La Notte</strong> [<strong class="MovieTitle">The Night</strong>] (1961)

(Kanopy Streaming, November 2018) I’m not particularly receptive to the kind of downbeat intimate drama that is Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte, but two things in the film kept me from being completely uninterested: The depiction of Milan, resurging from the post-war years in that charming 1960s energy, and Marcello Mastroianni being always cool (as a writer!) even when playing Don Draper’s early inspiration. Jeanne Moreau is also wonderful, even if her character is in the midst of a full-fledged marital crisis with a fairly obvious destination. Otherwise, well, this is the portrait of a marriage in full disintegration, which isn’t the most cheerful of topics. The premise is made even worse by Antonioni’s typically contemplative style: there is only one exit for the characters (divorce) and the viewers (waiting until the end credits) as well. What must have been a breath of fresh air in 1961 compared to the Hollywood Golden Age has been made and remade endless times since then, so modern viewers may not find anything as fresh as then-contemporary audiences. Dull, slow-moving and depressing, La Notte is a very specific kind of film for a very specific kind of viewer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *