“You’ve exhausted me, the both of you.” – Valentina
I rewatched one of my favorite films this weekend, Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte. I hadn’t seen it since my film class on Italian Neorealism, and being older and married now I watched it from a very different perspective. Even with the poor quality digital transfer, it remains one of most beautifully composed films I’ve ever laid eyes on. Viewing it with a modern lens I was stunned at the technical precision and inventiveness, considering the limited equipment at the time and the fact that Antonioni only shot on real locations his visual imagination is nothing short of masterful. The trio of Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau and Monica Vitti serve the story perfectly as a writer in crisis, his bored wife battling severe depression and a millionaire’s beautiful daughter respectively. The dialogue is sparse but weighted while the real depth of the film is found in the many wordless actions or subtle gestures Antonioni was so well known for. The fact that La Notte was created 51 years ago (1961) and still remains immediately relevent today is proof of the timelessness of great art. It’s a difficult film but one I find extremely rewarding and am certain to watch again with pleasure at some point in my life.