Skip to main content

LA NOTTE

Italy, 1960 (MIFF 1962)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

In "La Nolle", Antonioni renews the theme of "L'Avventura" with extended and refined style. The story is told allusively at first, with frequent interpolations. It is only after a great many external impressions have been assimilated, and the characters have defined themselves in their situation, that the film acquires its full concentration. The film opens viewing Milan from the moving lift of a multi-storey hospital—the city, more than a background, is to take on the personality of protagonist in the action. Giovanni, a successful young novelist, and his wife Lidia, are visiting a dying friend. To Giovanni the friend was just a colleague; to Lidia it transpires later, he was a great deal more—the selfless love he once held for her is contrasted with her husband's barren complacency, which manifests itself when Giovanni feebly allows himself to be waylaid by a young nymphomaniac.

The confession of this, his first infidelity, brings an ambiguous reply from Lidia: "It doesn't change any¬thing". She escapes from a party by her husband's publisher to wander through the streets alone. Overcome by loneliness, she sends for fiim. An attempt to throw off their mood at a night club only adds confusion to the situation. They go off on an all-night party in the country, and the tempo increases as the film takes up the weight of significance of earlier sequences; tensions, now explicit, are intensified. Giovanni turns his attention to the host's daughter; Lidia allows a young playboy to court her.

At dawn they meet again; memories of the love they once thought indestructible lead them to attempt a renewal of what has long been impossible. "La Notte" received the Award for the Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival, 1961.

See also...

THE ADVENTURE

Superficially, L'avventura is a love story, a somewhat mysterious one. During a yacht cruise, a girl disappears on a lonely island; her girl friend and lover search vainly for her. Relationships ... More »

CHUNG KWO - CHINA

Antonioni's China is a long way from the England of Blow-up or his American travelogue, Zabriskie Point. After spending six weeks filming in China, he said 'I felt a need to return to my own origins ... More »

THE CRY

Antonioni's film about working people is set in the bleak winter landscape of the Po Valley. Aldo is abandoned, together with his child, by his lover, Irma, who deserts him tor another man. His life ... More »

THE PASSENGER

The Passenger is Antonioni's first feature film in nearly four years. Jack Nicholson plays an experienced and disillusioned television reporter. He has adjusted to the limitations of his job, yet he ... More »

THE MYSTERY OF OBERWALD

A widowed queen, living aloof from her people, restlessly travels from one castle to another. The people know little of her. Her enemies send a young poet to assassinate her. The plot is uncovered ... More »

THE RED DESERT

The Red Desert is a pessimistic study of a neurotic woman, set against the background of a ravaged mineral landscape. Guiliana, unhappy with her dispassionate husband, attempts a sympathetic ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director