Professione: Reporter aka The Passenger

"This first piece of the film in this desert is a man looking for something, and that's really enough of a story for Antonioni"

A confession: I love that there's such a thing as DVD commentaries, but I rarely take the time to listen to them. It feels to much like a purely analytic pursuit, in a way: of course I analyse movies also while I watch them but that does not mean I cannot be swept away and involved by them, but when you're listening to a commentary you're seeing a movie from a much bigger remove, with a layer of analysis between you and the film.

In retrospect, it's obvious that this would be an ideal way to see an Antonioni movie, who, as Nicholson points out on his wonderful commentary track "(films) at a dispassionate distance".

It's a commentary like all commentaries should be: it offers insight, funny anecdotes, but Nicholson's also not afraid of letting some of the scenes play out, even professing his hope at the end that he didn't distract too much from the movie. It's easy to forget sometimes that actors are also often film lovers. Nicholson is known mostly for his antics, but from this commentary speaks a profound love both for film and for Antonioni.

I already loved this film: it's meditative nature, the wit of the screenplay, and of course that fabulous long shot at the end. Despite Nicholson's explanation, I still don't understand how exactly they did it, but it doesn't matter. The excruciatingly slow zoom towards the bars and then out, watching everything going on in the courtyard, it so mesmerizing it makes you hold your breath, and for it alone the movie would be worth watching.

I'll stop now - for the new free-lance thing I landed I will be writing a 1000 word essay about this film and DVD, and I don't to have some fresh thoughts left. But I know I'll be thinking about this movie for the rest of the day, at the very least.

No comments: