Cronaca di un amore

As it turns out, Antonioni films are very hard to find. Blow-up and The Passenger are available, but I had those two already. I searched everywhere for La Notte, L'Avventura, and L'Eclisse, but all I could find was a Criterion edition of L'Eclisse, which was beautiful with all the extra's you'd expect, and, as is always the case with Criterion, ridiculously expensive.

My dad, sweet as he is, decided to break his resolution not to buy me any more DVD's one more time. It won't get here for a while, but when it does, I really hope I'll like it. Ah, but how can I not love an Antonioni classic starring my very latest crush, Alain Delon?

Meanwhile, Cronaca di un amore (7.50 at the Fame in Amsterdam). The ending is spoiled even on the DVD-box, but typically for an Antonioni movie, while the plot is important, its resolution is not: it's all about the path that leads there.

This could have been a straightforward noir story: the wife and her lover conspiring to kill the husband. It would be interesting to watch this film together with Double Indemnity and Ascenseur pour L'échafaud, saving Antonioni's film for the end. In the first film it's about the mechanics of the seduction and the murder, and about the guilt that follows. In the second film, the mechanics of the murder are still important, but they're only the beginning, and guilt is not a factor: the film is about the emotions on Jeanne Moreau's face as she wanders through Paris, not about whether her act was moral or not.

Cronaca di un amore
takes it even further: the mechanics of the murder are barely discussed, it's not even certain whether they have succeeded. It's about the push and pull between Paola (Lucia Bosé) and Guido (Massimo Girotti). They go from happy to miserable in a second, from fighting to kissing. One time it's Guido who hesitates, and Paola who convinces him to continue, the next it's the inverse. And just like the audience, they are on some level aware that this can never end well.

There's an interesting doubling, as a private investigator who looks into Paola's past discovers there was another "other" involved so many years ago, a girl this time, Paola's friend and Guido's fiance. She died under suspicious circumstances, but after she did, Paola and Guido didn't end up happily together, but disengaged, horrified.

I liked this movie a lot, but I didn't love it like I did Blow-up and the Passenger. Maybe this is because there is less ambiguity here: there are only a few options as to what happens in the end, but it's not a big mystery. Maybe it's because the film is visually much less inventive. Also, the film is really just about this couple, while you can read much more into the other films, as they're less focused, more broad in their themes.

In the end though, it offers some insight into Antonioni's evolution as a filmmaker. It was a nice snack. But I can't wait until I can digest L'Eclisse. And let us hope his death prompts more DVD releases.

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