It is currently Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:50 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 143 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 11:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:09 pm
Location: here and there
When I saw the film theatrically several years ago, they showed 15 minute video shown after the film, which showed Antonioni playing back the scene on a Moviola and commenting on how he managed to move the camera "through" the window grating, among other things. I'm afraid I can't remember his description now! He also commented on the gun shot (with a silencer) is at that moment of that car noise, so that the sound would be covered up. He even backed up the film and played it again to confirm that moment is a gun shot!

Too bad this mini-documentary wasn't included on the DVD!


Top
 Profile  
 

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 11:43 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 2:22 am
Location: This almost empty gin palace
dad1153 wrote:
James Cameron owes the Antonioni state some royalties for stealing the Nicholson/Schneider 'flying' shots (when they're driving) for his soapy "Titanic" flick.

Actually, I think Cameron deserves even less credit for the shot you're referring to, as I'd be very surprised if he didn't lift that idea from the end of Les Amants du Pont Neuf---as that also takes place on a ship's prow.

In my opinion, those driving shots in The Passenger are some of the most beautiful in cinema history. To think they were accomplished with such economy of effect truly is a testament to the brilliance of Antonioni and his crew.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 3:05 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
Location: New York, NY
carax09 wrote:
dad1153 wrote:
James Cameron owes the Antonioni state some royalties for stealing the Nicholson/Schneider 'flying' shots (when they're driving) for his soapy "Titanic" flick.

Actually, I think Cameron deserves even less credit for the shot you're referring to, as I'd be very surprised if he didn't lift that idea from the end of Les Amants du Pont Neuf---as that also takes place on a ship's prow.

But the clip of Schneider with her arms extended (i.e. 'flying' below the thick tree foilage) is one of Antonioni's signature shots, shown in almost every documentary/profile of the man I've seen on home video and/or TV channels that show his movies. Hell, I knew the shot long before I knew who Antonioni was or saw "The Passenger." "Les Amants du Pont Neuf" may have the ship but the 'flying' motif is most recognizable as an Antonioni moment, one I'm sure a student of film like Cameron would have remembered when it came time to recycle it in "Titanic" as quasi-homage.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:56 pm
Location: Dublin
It's in Tramonto, Almeria, Spain, according to info in the Italian published script and the 'Journey of the Set' for THE PASSENGER in 'MA Architetture della Visione' vol. 2... The setting is identified as Hotel de la Goria in the film and again the Italian published script, but search reveals nothing of that name now... General local architecture is characteristic however...

Image

Final shot of THE PASSENGER...

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 7:19 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
Location: New York, NY
Rewatched my "Passenger" DVD twice on the same night earlier this week, first by itself and the second time with writer Mark Peploe's (and friend) commentary track. Still a slow-burn of a weirdly hypnotic road trip flick (Antonioni's most accessible one compared to dated one's like "Blow Up") in which a lot of stuff happens but actors and director take their sweet time getting to where they're going and (like us) get to soak up the great views along the way. Between this and his movies with Forman, Polanski, Nichols and Rafelson Jack Nicholson fucking owned the 1970's like few actors have dominated any movie decade before or since. Seen "The Passenger" four times now and I'm still finding little things here and there to enhance each viewing, plus Maria Schneider is such a cute and mysterious woman you can't help but fall for her the same way David Locke/Robertson does: at first sight. =P~


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:16 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 12:01 pm
Location: South of England
dad1153 wrote:
Still a slow-burn of a weirdly hypnotic road trip flick (Antonioni's most accessible one compared to dated one's like "Blow Up")=P~


I actually love 'Blow Up' more precisely because it is dated in the best possible sense; it absolutely captures the moment, the zeitgeist of 'Swinging London'.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:11 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:02 pm
Location: nYc
Particle Zoo wrote:
dad1153 wrote:
Still a slow-burn of a weirdly hypnotic road trip flick (Antonioni's most accessible one compared to dated one's like "Blow Up")=P~


I actually love 'Blow Up' more precisely because it is dated in the best possible sense; it absolutely captures the moment, the zeitgeist of 'Swinging London'.


Yes. I completely agree. It's one of the few examples I can think of where being 'dated' works.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:29 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
Location: New York, NY
^^^ OK, as a 'capturing the moment' time capsule of the British 60's scene you're right, "Blow Up" is very good. My point was that unless you're someone looking for dated-but-cool time capsule 'avant garde' movies from the 1960's "Blow Up" isn't likely to appeal to more than the handful of movie buffs that know it by name. On the other hand "The Passenger" has Nicholson at the height of his game in an espionage/thriller drama unfolding in an international setting (granted, one deconstructed to the bone to fit Antonioni's cinematic 'mise en scene') that is mainstream-enough in appearance to rope both casual and hardcore movie watchers to at the very least give it a try. That's what I mean when I say "The Passenger" is Antonioni's most accessible film, which doesn't mean is it's his best (though that argument is not without merits).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:50 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:28 pm
You might be surprised at how many people prefer "dated" sixties aesthetics to most of what's considered "modern."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:23 am
Location: Florida
dad1153 wrote:
My point was that unless you're someone looking for dated-but-cool time capsule 'avant garde' movies from the 1960's "Blow Up" isn't likely to appeal to more than the handful of movie buffs that know it by name.

Actually, I think "Blow Up" was and probably still is Antonioni's best known film. At least in the USA. It may be the case that "The Passenger" has acquired some deserved fame in recent years, but considering the length of time it was out of circulation I would say more people are familiar with the older film. Not quite the most seen sixties British film but hardly obscure. Maybe young twentysomethings perceive it differently.

I did catch "The Passenger" in its theatrical rerelease in 2005/6 and was absolutely astonished by it. Didn't know anything about the film, having seen only L'aventura, La Notte, Blow Up. Before that I regarded Antonioni's work as akin to Bertolucci's- as having an ever increasing tendency towards gaseousness. Given that point of view, watching it made for one of the biggest surprises I've ever had watching films. Even with a sparse theatrical crowd the passionate imagery made the place feel like a cathedral. Unforgettable.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:57 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:02 pm
Location: nYc
Keep in mind that Blow Up and the James Bond series were the main inspirations for the Austin Powers series, so I don't think it is unfair to assume that most Americans would know Blow Up before any of Antonioni's other films if they know of any of them at all.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:37 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
Location: New York, NY
Numero Trois wrote:
Actually, I think "Blow Up" was and probably still is Antonioni's best known film... Maybe young twentysomethings perceive it differently.

I'm 37 so I wouldn't know. :wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 5:36 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:30 am
Location: Edinburgh
Another nice anecdote about The Passenger from Peter Wollen, taken from his "An Alphabet of Cinema" in the New Left Review:

Quote:
P is personal—for The Passenger, a film directed by Antonioni, which I wrote with my script-writing partner Mark Peploe in the early 1970s. I was going to say something about its innovative use of technology and the use of a remote-controlled camera in the great penultimate shot, but I changed my mind. I want to tell a story, which is really a story about story-telling, a story about narrative. Quite recently I was asked by a screen-writing student about the role of coincidence in story construction—could it ever be justified? By way of an answer, I told the story then. Some years ago I was making a television documentary in Britain, a film about Tatlin’s Tower, an enormous spiral structure, designed to straddle the River Neva in Petrograd, with revolving floors on each level. I wanted to compare it to the Globe Tower, planned for the Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn, a little earlier historically. The Globe Tower was also meant to revolve—although neither structure was ever actually built. I had read about the Tower in Rem Koolhaas’s amazing book, Delirious Manhattan, which contained a long section on Coney Island and reproduced an image from a contemporary postcard which showed what the Globe Tower would have looked like. Somehow I managed to trace Rem Koolhaas, who began as a script-writer himself, but now, of course, is a world-famous architect. To my surprise he had an apartment in London, although he is Dutch, still based in Rotterdam, I believe, and so I telephoned and arranged to go round and see him. He produced a huge battered suitcase full of old postcards of New York, and there, sure enough, were a set of images of the Globe Tower. After I had found them, I began chatting with him about the film and suddenly he said, ‘You know, I once met Mark Peploe. It was quite a strange situation. I was on the train from Paris to Rotterdam . . .’ and I said, ‘I think I know this story. Mark already told me about it.’

Some time earlier—quite a few years earlier, in fact—Mark Peploe had told me the story of how he had once got on the train in Paris in order to travel to the Netherlands on business. After a while, he had gone to the restaurant car to get something to eat. He had just finished his meal and was having coffee when a stranger appeared and asked if he could share the table—just like Eve Kendall in North By North-West. Mark said, ‘Of course’ and after that, there wasn’t any further conversation—Mark just finished his meal and sat there reading his newspaper—when, suddenly, as they began to approach the station for Rotterdam, the stranger in the other seat leaned forward and asked him, ‘Excuse me, but are you perhaps Mark Peploe?’ Mark was stunned. He said yes, he was, and then, as the train drew into the station, the stranger got up, apologized for interrupting, picked up his bag and left.

Rem Koolhaas confirmed to me that, yes, of course, this was the very same story that he was going to tell, but from his point of view, from the other side of the encounter. I mentioned that Mark had never been able to understand how a complete stranger could possibly have guessed who he was, so Rem Koolhaas tried to explain, with words to this effect: ‘Well, really, it just occurred to me. I could see he was reading an English newspaper, so I thought he was probably English—and I noticed he seemed to be reading the film page very closely. And then, quite recently, I had been to see The Passenger and I knew that the writers were both English. I had seen a photograph of you somewhere, and so I knew it wasn’t you. That meant it might be Mark Peploe, so I asked him if he was.’ I said, ‘But why? There must have been more to it than that.’ He paused, and then he said, ‘Well, in a way, there was. There was something else. I had gone to see The Passenger with some friends and, afterwards, we had argued about it. They liked the film, but I didn’t. I had a problem with the script. I thought that the story line depended far too much on a series of coincidences, and then, sitting there in the train, wondering who I was looking at, it crossed my mind, wouldn’t it be a strange coincidence if that was Mark Peploe.’ So—coincidence validated. Aristotle would have approved. Serge Daney mentions The Passenger, unexpectedly, in a discussion on documentary. He praises the moment when an African seizes the camera from the European journalist who is filming him and reverses its gaze. Not just chance, not just coincidence—a shared vision of cinema, springing from 1968.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:07 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
Location: New York, NY
Great story, thanks for sharing the link. =D> Coincidence, like everything in life (who we meet and end up befriending/marrying, how we end up working where we are, etc.), has a place in dramatic and all kinds of movies. Good writers artfully weave a set of manufactured coincidences into their scripts to either make them seem natural or, at the very least, plausible within a movie's set of rules. Within an Antonioni flick's rules it is perfectly plausible for Locke to find someone with a close-enough physical appearance to switch identities with when Robertson unexpectedly dies at just the right moment. But, if Locke (as his new arms dealing identity) was pursued all over Barcelona by CIA trained ninja assassins and Maria Schneider just happened to be the last descendant of a clan of martial arts warriors (on retreat in Europe) that could kick these ninja's asses so she and Locke could make a fast getaway at the last possible moment before the Gaudi-built hotel in which they met explodes in a gigantic fireball of death... then that'd be a few coincidences too many now, wouldn't it? Just sayin' :-"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:20 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
In the words of Axel Rex: "A certain man once lost a diamond cuff-link in the wide blue sea, and twenty years later, on the exact day, a Friday apparently, he was eating a large fish - but there was no diamond inside. That's what I like about coincidence."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:26 pm 
Not PETA approved
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada
I'm not bothered by coincidences in movies or books. A coincidence is an inherantly artistic thing. What is a coincidence, afterall, but a sudden moment of apparent design amidst the chaos of regular life, a moment that suggests structure and unity where you had never expected it to exist? A coincidence is a moment in your life of artistic (or literary) structure that lacks an apparent purpose. Knowing that, it is not only acceptable but natural to find exactly those moments in a work of art which does have a controlled and visible design. All the more so, actually, since they cease to be true coincidences for the reader or viewer who is aware of the design.

The only bad coincidences in a narrative are purely mechanical ones conjured out of laziness. Otherwise, bring 'em on.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 11:08 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
I have to admit having a low tolerance for coincidences in narratives, simply because they are so often of the purely mechanical / lazy variety. It's got to the point where I have an unofficial 'one coincidence' rule. One wacky coincidence is absolutely fine, and whatever complexities spiral out from that: the more the merrier. I can excuse a second if it's particularly well-finessed or witty or somesuch, but so many modern criss-crossing narratives pile up a half-dozen or so, and that just seems like incredibly lazy writing to me. Passing it off as irony or a 'meditation on fate' or whatever does the technique no favours. Back to Yang, The Terrorizer is the perfect example of lots of seeming coincidences actually being logically traceable back to a single originating one. I'd love to see more films with complex narratives actually apply this kind of rigour to their conception.

Rant over. We return you now to your regularly scheduled topic. To wit: this is something that never bothered me about The Passenger.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 9:04 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
Location: New York, NY
^^^ Never bothered me either but I can see why a large swath of the audience "The Passenger" appeals to (the intellectual type that doesn't allow him/herself to be exposed to the Hollywood blockbuster machine where coincidences run rampant, i.e. someone like Rem Koolhaas) could be thrown off by being asked to accept at least three major coincidences (Locke looking enough like Robertson to pass as him, Robertson dying without anyone finding out at just the right moment when David could swap identities with him and Locke running into 'the girl' in two different countries) needed for the plot to move forward. Antonioni's Mise-en-scène is strong-enough to support these coincidences (plus it's miles more plausible than stuff that's become commonplace in action/espionage movies) but we here are trained to read his movie language and appreciate the whole. There are people who will simply not let go of something that bothers them in a movie narrative (like the death of a dog for example) and that will color their entire experience even if the rest of the flick is to their liking. C'est la vie.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 11:18 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT
I think there are essentially two kinds of coincidences--those that initiate some sort of plot development, and those that provide conflict resolution (see: like, every episode of every TV show). Off the top of my head, I can't think of any instances of the former that bother me, but nor can I think of any of the latter that don't frustrate me to some extent. Actually, I suppose there are also those coincidences that are just there for their own sake, and that have no relation to the plot, though I can't think of any of those right now either. Hmmm, a coincidence?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 1:51 pm 
Not PETA approved
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada
dad1153 wrote:
^^^ Never bothered me either but I can see why a large swath of the audience "The Passenger" appeals to (the intellectual type that doesn't allow him/herself to be exposed to the Hollywood blockbuster machine where coincidences run rampant, i.e. someone like Rem Koolhaas) could be thrown off by being asked to accept at least three major coincidences (Locke looking enough like Robertson to pass as him, Robertson dying without anyone finding out at just the right moment when David could swap identities with him and Locke running into 'the girl' in two different countries) needed for the plot to move forward. Antonioni's Mise-en-scène is strong-enough to support these coincidences (plus it's miles more plausible than stuff that's become commonplace in action/espionage movies) but we here are trained to read his movie language and appreciate the whole. There are people who will simply not let go of something that bothers them in a movie narrative (like the death of a dog for example) and that will color their entire experience even if the rest of the flick is to their liking. C'est la vie.

I think those coincidences are improbable for a reason: they ought to make the person experiencing them really ponder their meaning and the design that's apparently been thrust on their life. Just meeting the same girl twice like that would cause most feeling people to wonder if it wasn't fate. Yet none of these improbable coincidences seem to make any impression on Nicholson's character at all. His ennui persists. He's tossed in the middle of a Hollywood Blockbuster plot and just cannot seem to care.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 6:03 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
Location: New York, NY
^^^ But doesn't that tell you the depths of the dispair and inner-turmoil (the 'life of quiet desperation' Hemingway talked about) David Locke was experiencing? That he was experiencing a completely different life (one he could only peek through his camera before and pretend to be neutral about) by the most amazing streak of coincidences, yet even that didn't lift or sparked his spirits? It's a resignation that there isn't a 'there' where he thought 'there' (Robertson's life) would take him, and the best he could do at the end (when he realized the jig was almost-over) was roll over in his bed and wait for the same coincidences that put him in Robertson's shoes to work their stuff.

The only coincidence that got a visible reaction out of Locke like the one you describe before was when he ran into his wife at the hotel. Even then Antonioni denies us what we've been trained to expect (the payoff/reaction shot of either spouse) and just gives us the medium shot of the physical space these once-close individuals shared briefly (the hotel desk/public phony lobby area) followed by their off-screen actions (Nicholson and Schneider getting the fuck outta Dodge). Within Antonioni's Mise-en-scène I could buy that the reason Nicholson didn't react overtly to the incredible coincidences that fell on his lap up to that moment was because the director wanted the one time Locke looked scared to be fueled by the coincidence of running into the one person that knew him best (as David) and could totally dismantle his (to the world and to himself) charade of being Robertson. It is so important for Locke to remain closeted within Robertson's borrowed life that finding a dead body, meeting with arms dealers or running into the same woman in two different countries didn't face him, but the prospect of having his manufactured identity shattered by someone that could see right through and judge him (something Schneider's character never did, hence their chemistry and road trip bond) scared him into a most human reaction: run away from your demons instead of confronting them. It's what has put many a psychiatrist's child through college and paid the mortgages on their homes.

If anything Locke was probably grateful (though he probably didn't care! :P) the hitmen came first because facing his wife with the depths he had gone to abandon her would have been the worst thing for him to face. Yet another coincidence: the wife finds her husband in the same position and location (a bed in a small hotel room) as he found his doppleganger. Either back in Africa or in the Spanish plains, David Locke meant to leave his wife (and everything else) behind and ultimately accomplished his goal.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 10:29 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:19 am
Location: Hong Kong
I was in a Malaysian hotel once, about 20 years ago, watching The Buddy Holly Story in the TV lounge while waiting for my ride to the airport. The ride came and I flew via Bangkok, Dhaka, and some other places in the Middle East to London. Went from the airport to my home, walked into the living room, and my brother was watching The Buddy Holly Story on TV. I imagine that's a coincidence-level that would never make it to the screen.

Just as an aside, why does no-one ever seem to discuss the probable African snuff-tape scene in The Passenger? Are sliding window bars really that much more engaging than a live execution?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:14 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:45 pm
This is a film that I can't get out of my mind. I think it's those gorgeous sun-baked Chad/Barcelona/Andalusia locations juxtaposed with the existential dead-ness of it all, the sense of a life winding down and approaching its end slowly but very surely... (the picture doesn't have much in the way of traditional suspense, I suppose, but there is an undeniable pull on the viewer in its last 30-40 or so mins)

The cumulative effect of the film is so powerful, the technical aspects so fascinating (Antonioni never before used the camera in such a free, 'objective' manner as he does here) that I can totally forgive some of Maria Schneider's less-than-stellar line deliveries. Anyway, her performance, flawed as it might be, is a lot more interesting than a more polished one would have been.

Of course the penultimate shot is unforgettable, but I also especially love the very last one, which the end credits play over [seen just a bit upthread]... it's an unspeakably beautiful image, and I think further drives home the feeling of 'life goes on', gives off a kind of cosmic detachment which I find hard to articulate. Anyway, as is evident, I find much hard to articulate about this beguiling, haunting, haunting film. Oh well.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:29 pm
Any help would be very appreciated. Does anybody know the artist and title of the song in the last credits shot?

I've searched everywhere and can't say I was successful. Thanx!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 143 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection