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Monday, January 27, 2014

Identification of a Woman (1982) d. Michelangelo Antonioni

Daniela Silvero as Mavi in Identification of a Woman (1982) by Michelangelo Antonioni

Movie Review
Identification of a Woman (1982)
d. Michelangelo Antonioni
Criterion Collection #585

  I had assumed that Michelangelo Antonioni stopped making films after Blow Up (1966) but incorrectly as it turns out.  Aside from being a rehashing of themes that are familiar to any repeat viewer of Antonioni's oeuvre:  ambiguous relationships, people getting lost in the fog and long shots of people not doing or saying anything, Identification of a Woman is mostly notable because of the various explicit sex scenes that are included.  Like X rated level sex scenes.  Identification of a Woman is also interesting because it is the story of a recently divorced film director who bangs a number of hot young chicks.

 Considering the ubiquity of the older man/younger woman theme in literature- be it novels, films or what have you, it is hard not to consider where you stand in that relationship.  It's even harder to realize that you yourself are closer to the "old man" category than any other.  It seems like there is a little lee way between the ages of 35-50 (I am 37) but the clock is ticking.  Clearly though it is ok if you either looking for a young wife to bear your children (and you are a wealthy older dude) OR if you are someone with business in the cultural industries.

 For example the "plot" (such a vague concept for Antonioni) involves the director/Antonioni stand in (Niccolo) struggling to case the lead in his next film.  He picks up on Mavi, played by a short-haired Daniela Silverio, who may or may not roll with a crypto-fascist group of rich Italians.  Niccolo is promptly threatened in an appropriately (for an Antonioni film) vague manner.   Niccolo takes Mavi away to the country, there is an argument, I looked down at my Samsung galaxy to play a quick game of Candy Crush, and when I looked up again, Mavi has vanished.

 Niccolo then hooks up with actress Ida (played by Christine Boisson) who helps him track down Mavi.   The whole film has the feel of a noir without any of the action or murder. In fact, in the end you have a fairly conventional but stylized bourgeois love story with an ambiguous ending.

  Worth mentioning is the sound track to this film.  The inclusion of several early 80s synth anthems gives Identification of a Woman a retro-future vibe and increases the style level by a factor of 2 or 3. 

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