Albertina – Museum – Vienna
Exhibition catalogue published in conjunction with the exhibition: ‘Blow-up Antonioni’s classic film & photography and containing classic 60’s Duffy images.
Albertina, Vienna, April 30th – 24th August 2014
Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni’s first English-language production was also his only box office hit, widely considered one of the seminal films of the 1960s. Inspired by swinging London photographers Brian Duffy, David Bailey and Terence Donovan, Thomas (David Hemmings) is a nihilistic, wealthy fashion photographer in mod “Swinging London.” Filled with ennui, bored with his “fab” but oddly-lifeless existence of casual sex and drug use, Thomas comes alive when he wanders through a park, stops to take pictures of a couple embracing, and upon developing the images, believes that he has photographed a murder. Pursued by Jane (Vanessa Redgrave), the woman who is in the photos, Thomas pretends to give her the pictures, but in reality, he passes off a different roll of film to her. Thomas returns to the park and discovers that there is, indeed, a dead body lying in the shrubbery: the gray-haired man who was embracing Jane. Has she murdered him, or does Thomas’ photo reveal a man with a gun hiding nearby? Antonioni’s thriller is a puzzling, existential, adroitly-assembled masterpiece.