Blow-up

Blow-up

DVD - 2004
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A London photographer takes some pictures of a couple in a park and discovers that he may have recorded evidence of a murder.

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j
JeanieG
Jul 28, 2017

Blow Up is a cultural classic on so many levels. Reading the other comments in this section I can see many missed much of what the movie was about. I think I can safely say it was "an art film", a genre that these days does not generate huge attendance. Blow Up is also from a time (50 plus years ago) when movie going was so so different than it is today.

To me it represents the beginning of the era of Mod and Hippies and Free Love. On another level it is about perceptions, deceptions and reality. On a simple level it is about fashion. And photography. It is definitely a movie that can be watched multiple times. The copy I checked out from the Library was a 50th anniversary edition and had a second disc with lots of background and interviews.

sure, a lot of trendy visuals are out of date, yet the enduring value of this top-rated (mine) film is its metaphorical commentary on the sly, subterranean sickness of deception of our human culture(s). the only two films that compete for my top prize are: Gone With the Wind, and the 7th veil.

l
LauraSteinert
May 20, 2017

This 1966 movie does not translate well in 2017. What was supposed to be two hip bachelors having a strange week and scoring with chicks is instead two serial rapists drugging women and abusing them. The women in the movie accept the fact that they should be abused and they expect their bodies to be abused. (One teen who doesn't want to have sex is the attacked by her "friend" until she submits.) This might be better left on the shelf.

v
VonHafenstaaad
Apr 19, 2017

I consider this classic the best Antonioni film by far.
Contrary to many, if not most, of his other films this one has not only superior cinematic qualities (pure esthetics), superb acting but also possesses the plot which while murky and unpredictable is, in my opinion, free of frequent in European art fatalism and pessimistic outlook. Nothing is certain, nothing is preordained; precisely the opposite is true. The viewer is left alone to make interpretations of "what happened", "who's done it" for himself.
For the reasons outlined just above this film belongs to the category of those one can watch time and time again and may never get bored. Each time impressions as well as conclusions, if any, may be different.
The warning for fans of "Hollywood" style action movies: don't bother. This is a "slow moving movie". Most is left to imagination. Those with good imagination able to immerse into the inner hidden things of this film will be handsomely rewarded.

c
Calvacade
Apr 19, 2017

In 1966, Michelangelo Antonioni (L’avventura) transplanted his existentialist ennui to the streets of swinging London for this international sensation, the Italian filmmaker’s English-language debut. A countercultural masterpiece about the act of seeing and the art of image making, Blow-Up takes the form of a psychological mystery.

t
TheSandoz
Apr 19, 2017

"Blow Up" was a sensation when it was released in 1966. Critics and moviegoers hotly debated its enigmatic story. Three and a half decades later, its meaning is no clearer. I have seen it several times, and I remain clueless. The movie has fallen into relative obscurity, and, so, the few people I've met who have seen it have been unable to offer any satisfactory insights. If you are looking for pop entertainment, you certainly want to avoid this one because the plot is so puzzling.
Why, you may ask, do I rank it so highly? It's because it is one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen. Every single shot is composed with the utmost care. The framing is amazing. The colors are beautiful. The sound, too, is meticulously constructed. Although the sound technology back then was primitive compared to today's, the movie manages to make background noises very much a part of the whole.
The story revolves around a bored but brilliant London photographer, played by David Hemmings. He is a genius at his craft, but his life is an empty place. One day he wanders into a lovely park, where he spies two lovers. He follows them and photographs them. The girl [Vanessa Redgrave] sees him and demands he give her the film. He refuses. When he develops the photos, he sees a blurred image, which, when blown up, looks like it might be a body.

s
seeker472
Apr 12, 2017

In 1966 I saw this film in Winnipeg. It was the one to see that year. Everyone was talking about it. I saw it straight, and again stoned and enjoyed it both times. It was a little racy back then. It was a film for its time and does seem a little dated now, but still a good film.

m
mswrite
Dec 14, 2016

A bit dated, but then its original release date was 50 years ago during the fabled swinging sixties. This was the era of Beatles, Carnaby Street mod and--obviously--a high acceptance level of casual misogyny and nasty homophobia.
The protagonist, played by David Hemmings, is no hero--he is restless, soulless, a jerk whose success as a professional photographer has fueled an enormous sense of self-entitlement. We never learn his name. It doesn't really matter since we don't like him anyway.
There are some set pieces here that in 1966 were considered scandalous, including a frenzied, predatory romp with two underage groupies and a seduction scene of sorts between a shirtless Hemmings and a topless (arms crossed over chest) Vanessa Redgrave, she of the long, sensuous spine.
He meets Redgrave by chance, after wandering with his ever present camera to a park where in the distance he spots a woman and a man. Their behavior intrigues him; the two could be in a playful embrace or an intense struggle. He aims and shoots, capturing a still image of Redgrave looking off into dense trees. Her expression is intent, strained. What is she looking at? He aims and shoots. What is going on between this couple? Are they a couple? He keeps clicking away and suddenly she's rushing toward him, angrily insisting he stop. She grabs frantically for his camera, desperate to retrieve the film in it.
She doesn't get it and her desperation annoys and amuses him--now he knows he has something interesting.

Upon returning to his studio he develops and studies the film, enlarging it frame by frame. He examines Redgrave's gaze, tracing her line of sight until finally he notices what she appears to be looking at; a hand pointing a gun.
Wow. He is cocky and self-congratulatory at first, convinced he and his camera may have prevented a murder attempt. Then he examines more footage of the film, blowing up a frame that appears to show a body lying in the grass. His self-congratulation evaporates.

This sequence is the best part of the film and every moment of it holds your attention. The photographer's intense work process, the cutting back and forth of the camera's footage, and his dawning realization that what he has captured was a murder in progress, forms the crux of "Blow-Up."
Was there a murder?
What happened to the mystery man who was with the woman?
What happened to the woman? (Driving around he catches a glimpse of her on the street only to see her actually disappear into a crowd.)
What is real?

orkluttar Feb 24, 2015

From an overview, this film seems to be a slick, grind-house
murder flick. But some background on the director dispells that as being a tad premature. The most salient hint of another perspective being the absurd aerial angles of the young photographer, as he
struggles with his obsession or his conscience at what he at least may have imagined as a somewhat sordid interlude.

This should have already been the viewer's mode, as the introduction includes a pastiche of a campy bunch of artsey characters, teasing and heckling the pedantic Londoners.

But the artsiness and 'foreign-film' aura soon pervade the story-line with the episode about speculation on an antique shoppe where there are, '. . queers and poodles,' on the walkway.

Compared to most efforts today, the sex frolic with the two models would seem quite tame and doesn't ever get graphic, except for some frontal nudity of the two girls as they indulge their vestophobia and enjoy some relief from the tedium of the fashion world.

This genuine effort of the director to produce an 'art film' re-ificates at the conclusion, with the photographer and the imaginary tennis ball. Was he really a witness to some sordid
scenario or has he imagined that to make himself feel important?

m
Moe1259
Apr 06, 2013

I saw this film when it came out in 1966. I was a teenager at the time and found it quite intriguing. There are some minutes that have been cut in this copy from the original film which effects the empathy that you may have for the lead actor.

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mrsgail5756 Apr 06, 2013

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr

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