a man who “tells stories, narrates with images,”


Michelangelo Antonioni was obsessed with distraction. No other artist focused on inattentiveness to the degree of intensity on display in his best films. His subject was the alternately bored and viscerally excited modern human being, but he had the extraordinary discipline to keep himself from becoming such a person. His characters often broke down, losing sight of each other, their own desires, their barest needs; through it all, Antonioni would retain his trancelike alertness. He indulged long takes, luxuriating in static images and masterfully sustained tracking shots of characters flitting aimlessly from excitement to crushing boredom and loneliness. The extravagant tension in his extravagantly composed films derives from this crucial difference between sensibility and subject.

more from n+1 here.