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.
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