Red Desert (film)
Infobox Film | name = Red Desert
(Il Deserto Rosso)
caption = Original Italian film poster
Giovanni Fusco Vittorio Gelmetti
Carlo Di Palma
Eraldo Da Roma
released = flagicon|Italy
4 September 1964(premiere at VFF)
8 February, 1965
runtime = 120 min
language = Italian
imdb_id = 0058003
"Red Desert" ( _it. Il deserto rosso) is a 1964
Italian filmdirected by Michelangelo Antonioni. It was written by Antonioni and Tonino Guerraand stars Monica Vitti, Richard Harrisand others. It is Antonioni's first color film. The working title was "Celeste e verde" ("Pale blue and green"). [Brunette, Peter. "The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni". Cambridge University Press, 1998. Page 169. ] "Il deserto rosso" was awarded the Golden Lionat the 25th Venice Film Festivalin 1964.
Giuliana (Monica Vitti), a young and mentally distressed woman, has attempted to take her life. Although she is married to Ugo (Carlo Chionetti), a plant director, and has a young son, she feels estranged from her relatives and disconnected from the surrounding world. She does not know how to connect to it and feels that something goes terribly wrong. Ugo's friend, Zeller (Richard Harris), who came to Ravenna to make a business deal, pursues her, attracted by her beauty and enigma. He seems to understand her troubles better than her busy husband, but that is still not enough to alleviate Giuliana's anxiety and tribulations.
The story is set in the industrial area of
Ravennafull of huge cold factories and machines, and a polluted river valley. The visuals are dominated by pastel colors and cold whiteness with smoke and fog covering everything, and the sound designby repetitive ghostly ship horns and atmospheric electronic score. Prior to making his first color film, Antonioni admitted that
The director made a point of painting trees and grass white or grey in order to highlight unnaturalness of urban landscape. The red color was used to highlight Giuliana's emotional anguish and sexual longing, so that
Andrew Sarrisreferred to the red-painted pipes and railings as "the architecture of anxiety: the reds and blues exclaim as much as they explain". It is supposed that Fernand Leger's works were Antonioni's inspiration for these intricate patterns of brightly colored tubes.
After the film's release, it was commonly interpreted as a story about the harshness of humanity and its blindness to see the world it created. Only the neurotic Giuliana is awakened, seeing and feeling the profound alienation and suffering it all. However, Antonioni's attitude to the modern industrial environment was not as negative as that of many film critics. According to him, Giuliana
*imdb title|id=0058003|title=Il deserto rosso
title=Golden Lion winner
Hands Over the City"
Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa"
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