Michelangelo Antonioni Centenary
Co-presented with the National Gallery of Art
September 10–18

AFI Silver is proud to present the three English-language works of the acclaimed Italian auteur Michelangelo Antonioni (1912–2007), during his centennial year. Presented in partnership with the National Gallery of Art (NGA.gov/programs/film) and the Italian Cultural Institute, Washington (iicwashington.info/events).

Antonioni's early Italian films, including several shorts and documentaries—lent through the courtesy of Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia–Cineteca Nazionale—will be screened at the National Gallery during August and early September, while the English-language classics are shown at AFI Silver in September. FARE UN FILM PER ME È VIVERE (1996), a documentary that Enrica Antonioni made while her husband was on the set of Beyond the Clouds, screens at the Italian Cultural Institute in Wednesday, September 19, 6:00.

 AFI Member passes accepted at all Antonioni screenings taking place at AFI Silver.



ZABRISKIE POINT

Eager to capitalize on the booming counterculture youth market, MGM poured $7 million into this film — an extravagant figure for that time and nearly five times what Antonioni spent to make BLOW-UP. Scored to the music of Pink Floyd and Jerry Garcia, a handsome rebel and a young woman embark on a strange journey amid the stark and beautiful imagery of Death Valley.

DIR/SCR Michelangelo Antonioni; SCR Fred Gardner, Sam Shepard, Tonino Guerra, Clare Peploe; PROD Carlo Ponti. US, 1970, color, 110 min. RATED R

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Mon, Sep 10, 9:30; Wed, Sep 12, 9:05


BLOW-UP

BLOW-UP brought the art film to the masses, broke the nudity barrier, captured the Mod look of 1960s "Swinging London" and influenced major studio movies and independent cinema for years to come. Michelangelo Antonioni's first foray into English-language film accomplishes the sublime irony of being both a pop culture classic and a subtly pointed indictment of youth's fecklessness. David Hemmings as the jaded fashion photographer became a '60s icon, but never found another role to match. Co-starring Vanessa Redgrave. Famously loved, hated and debated (critic Pauline Kael was among its detractors), the film undeniably retains its power to provoke, challenge and inspire.

DIR/SCR Michelangelo Antonioni; SCR Tonino Guerra, with English dialogue by Edward Bond; PROD Carlo Ponti. UK/Italy/US, 1966, color, 111 min. NOT RATED

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Tue, Sep 11, 9:20; Thu, Sep 13, 9:45; Fri, Sep 14, 9:30


THE PASSENGER

Antonioni's third and final film for MGM is his most puzzling, a fitting end to the European auteur's now-unthinkable experiment of working within the Hollywood studio system. Journalist Jack Nicholson is covering a conflict in North Africa. When he discovers the dead body of an acquaintance who resembled him, he assumes the man's identity to explore his life — which turns out to be a dangerous one. Nicholson soon finds himself pursued by gunrunners and involved with a mysterious French student (LAST TANGO IN PARIS' Maria Schneider) on an adventure from the Algerian desert to London, Munich, Barcelona and back again.

DIR/SCR Michelangelo Antonioni; SCR Mark Peploe, Peter Wollen; PROD Carlo Ponti. Italy/France/Spain, 1975, color, 126 min. RATED PG-13

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Sat, Sep 15, 4:00; Tue, Sep 18, 9:00