La Notte - Film (Movie) Plot and Review





(The Night)


Italy-France, 1960


Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

Production: Nepi Film (Rome), Sofitedip (Paris), and Silver Films (Paris); black and white, 35mm; running time: 120 minutes. Released February 1961, Italy. Filmed 1960 in Milan.


Producer: Emanuele Cassuto; screenplay: Michelangelo Antonioni, Ennio Flaiano, and Tonino Guerra; photography: Gianni Di Venanzo; editor: Eraldo Da Roma; sound: Claudio Maielli; art director: Piero Zuffi; music: Giorgio Gaslini and his Quartette.


Cast: Jeanne Moreau ( Lidia ); Marcello Mastroianni ( Giovanni ); Monica Vitti ( Valentina Gerardini ); Bernhard Wicki ( Tommaso );

La notte
La notte
Rosi Mazzacurati ( Resy ); Maria Pia Luzi ( Nymphomaniac ); Vincenzo Corbella ( Gerardini ); Gitt Magrini ( Signora Gerardini ); Giorno Negro ( Roberto ); Guido Aimone Marsan ( Fanti ); Roberta Speroni ( Beatrice ); Vittorio Bertolini; Ugo Fortunati; Pompiani.


Award: Berlin Film Festival, Best Film, 1961.

Publications


Script:

Antonioni, Michelangelo, Ennio Flaiano, and Tonino Guerra, La notte , in Screenplays , New York, 1963.


Books:

Cowie, Peter, Antonioni, Bergman, Resnais , New York, 1963.

Leprohon, Pierre, Michelangelo Antonioni: An Introduction , New York, 1963.

Strick, Philip, Antonioni , London, 1965.

Cameron, Ian, and Robin Wood, Antonioni , New York, 1969.

Rifkin, Ned, Antonioni's Visual Language , Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1982.

Barthes, Roland, and others, Michelangelo Antonioni , Munich, 1984.

Biarese, Cesare, and Aldo Tassone, I film di Michelangelo Antonioni , Rome, 1985.

Dervin, Daniel, Through a Freudian Lens Deeply: A Psychoanalysis of Cinema , Hillsdale, New Jersey, 1985.

Antonioni, Michelangelo, That Bowling Alley on the Tiber: Tales of a Director , Oxford, 1986.

Perry, Ted, and Rene Prieto, Michelangelo Antonioni: A Guide to References and Resources , Boston, 1986.

Johnson, Charles W., Philosophy in Literature , San Francisco, 1992.

Arrowsmith, William, Antonioni: The Poet of Images , New York, 1995.

Chatman, Seymour B., Antonioni, or, the Surface of the World , Berkeley, 1996.

Brunette, Peter, The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni , New York, 1998.

Tomasulo, Michelangelo Antonioni , Old Tappan, 1998.

Wenders, Wim, My Time with Antonioni , New York, 2000.


Articles:

Fitzpatrick, Ellen, in Films in Review (New York), December 1961.

Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey, in Sight and Sound (London), Winter 1961–62.

Mekas, Jonas, in Village Voice (New York), 15 February 1962.

"Antonioni Issue" of Film Culture (New York), Spring 1962.

Aristarco, Guido, in Film Culture (New York), Spring 1962.

Young, Vernon, "Of Night, Fire, and Water," in Hudson Review (New York), Summer 1962.

"Antonioni Issue" of Film Quarterly (Berkeley), Fall 1962.

Alpert, Hollis, "Talk with Antonioni," in Saturday Review (New York), 27 October 1962.

Cinema (Beverly Hills), no. 2, 1963.

Taylor, John Russell, "Antonioni," in Cinema Eye, Cinema Ear , New York, 1964.

Davis, Melton S., "Most Controversial Director," in New York Times Magazine , 15 November 1964.

Godard, Jean-Luc, "Night, Eclipse, Dawn," in Cahiers du Cinema in English (New York), January 1966.

Gow, Gordon, "Antonioni Men," in Films and Filming (London) June 1970.

Tudor, Andrew, "Antonioni: The Road to Death Valley," in Cinema (London), August 1970.

Hernacki, T., "Michelangelo Antonioni and the Imagery of Disintegration," in Film Heritage (Dayton, Ohio), Autumn 1970.

Burke, F., "The Natural Enmity of Words and Moving Images: Language, La Notte and the Death of the Light," in Literature/ Film Quarterly (Salisbury, Maryland), no. 1, 1979.

Bonnet, J. C., Interview with Jeanne Moreau, in Cinématographe (Paris), December 1982.

Blanchet, C., in Cinéma (Paris), May 1984.

Gansera, R., in EPD Film (Frankfurt), April 1986.

"Antonioni, Michelangelo," in Current Biography , vol. 54, no. 5, May 1993.

Toamsulo, F. P., "The Architectonics of Alienation: Antonioni's Edifice Complex," in Wide Angle (Baltimore), no. 3, 1993.

Perez, Gilberto, "A Man Pointing: Antonioni and the Film Image," in Yale Review , vol. 82, no. 3, July 1994.

Rudman, Mark, " The Night : On Michelangelo Antonioni," in Raritan: A Quarterly Review , vol. 14, no. 2, Fall 1994.

Moore, Kevin Z., "Eclipsing the Commonplace: The Logic of Alienation in Antonioni's Cinema," in Film Quarterly (Berkeley), vol. 48, no. 4, Summer 1995.

" La nuit ," in the Special Issue of Avant-Scène du Cinéma (Paris), no. 446, November 1995.

Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey, "Antonioni: Before and After," in Sight and Sound (London), vol. 5, no. 12, December 1995.

Chatman, Seymour, "Antonioni in 1980: An Interview," in Film Quarterly (Berkeley), vol. 51, no. 1, Fall 1997.


* * *


Michelangelo Antonioni's La notte is about an artist's life at the height of Italy's economic miracle; it depicts several hours, including the whole night, in the life of Giovanni Pontano, a novelist, on the day of the publication of his latest book.

The film opens with a visit by Pontano and his wife, Lidia, to the most sympathetic figure of the film, the Marxist editor Tommaso, who is in a hospital dying of cancer. Later, during a long and tedious all-night party at the home of a Milanese industrialist, who wants to buy Pontano's services to promote his business, Lidia learns that Tommaso has died.

The fascination of the film lies in its representation of boredom: a routine book party unenlivened by the actual appearance of Salvatore Quasimodo, then a recent Nobel laureate; Lidia's aimless walk at the outskirts of Milan, while Giovanni tries to nap in his study; an unsatisfying visit to a nightclub; and the endless meanderings and regroupings of the affluent guests at the party.

Within that matrix Pontano's sexual adventures become an index of his moral, and even artistic, collapse. He allows himself to be grabbed and caressed by a nymphomaniac in the hospital until two brutal nurses separate them and beat the woman; he trails the dilettante daughter of the industrialist around her mansion and ultimately fails to seduce her: and, in the film's last moments, on what appears to be the host's private golf course, he starts to make love to his wife, after she reads him an old love letter which he does not recognize as his own.

Antonioni manipulates entrances and exits and ambiguous shifts of scale, in order to shift regularly between his principal characters while maintaining the impression that their independent actions are linked together, almost as if they could see each other in their privacy. This impression is furthered by the well-ordered system of countershots which stress distance between characters even when they are behaving intimately. This is the most emphatic in the increasing lengths at which the camera is placed from the couple at the film's conclusion.

—P. Adams Sitney

Also read article about La Notte from Wikipedia

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