IFFC: Antonioni Day

Thursday 23 November


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IFFC: Antonioni Day

Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) is one of the most iconic directors of world cinema. His films invented a new language to express the gaps and contradictions of our contemporary world. Italian Film Festival Cardiff will be hosting and event to commemorate the day at Chapter Arts Centre on Thursday 23rd November, offering talks by specialists on Antonioni and the screenings of two films: Antonioni's iconic Red Desert and Volker Sattel's documentary on the house shared by the director and actress Monica Vitti, La Cupola.

The event will be structured as follows:

14:00:  Lunch

15:00:  Talks by Luca Paci (Swansea University), Fabio Vighi (Cardiff University) and Jacopo Benci (British School, Rome)

17:00:  Screening of La Cupola (Welsh Premiere)

18:00: Screening of Red Desert

Tickets are £15/ £10

La Cupola (Welsh Premiere)

Volker Sattel, Germany/Italy, 2016, 40min, colour, Italian, German with English Subtitles

The portrait of a house without supporting walls. A bold dome made of concrete, an open space – right in the middle of the bizarre rock formations of a rugged coast made of reddish granite. The house belonged to actress Monica Vitti and director Michelangelo Antonioni. The emptiness of the“cupola” and the deserted quality of the site are the starting point for speculating – seemingly at random, figures wind up in the image and enter the dome, and even today, the utopia of an alternative concept of living seems to float above its form.

Red Desert

Italy/1964/117mins/12a/subs Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni. With Monica Vitti and Richard Harris.

Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960s panoramas of contemporary alienation were decade-defining artistic events, and Red Desert, his first colour film, is perhaps his most epochal. This provocative look at the spiritual desolation of the technological age—about a disaffected woman, brilliantly portrayed by Antonioni muse Monica Vitti, wandering through a bleak industrial landscape beset by power plants and environmental toxins, and tentatively flirting with her husband’s co-worker, played by Richard Harris—continues to keep viewers spellbound. With one startling, painterly composition after another—of abandoned fishing cottages, electrical towers, looming docked ships—Red Desert creates a nearly apocalyptic image of its time, and confirms Antonioni as cinema’s preeminent poet of the modern age. 

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