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Blow Up [DVD] [1967] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

David Hemmings , Vanessa Redgrave , Michelangelo Antonioni    DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle, Jane Birkin
  • Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Edward Bond, Julio Cortázar, Tonino Guerra
  • Producers: Carlo Ponti, Pierre Rouve
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Feb 2004
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000WN0ZK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,364 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



It may not stand up as an art-house film (the opening and closing shots of a mime playing tennis belong in the Pretentious Metaphor Hall of Fame), but this head scratcher is an absorbing travelogue of swinging London circa 1967, courtesy of auteur tourist Michelangelo Antonioni. Blow Up is also a meticulous, paranoid murder mystery that has left its fingerprints on dozens of later films, from Coppola's The Conversation to the recent cult item The Usual Suspects. The efforts of a fashion photographer (David Hemmings) to analyse a photo snapped off-the-cuff in a public park, which may have recorded a crime in progress, resonated at the time with conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. From here it looks like an anticipation of up-to-the-minute anxieties about the filtering of perception through metastasising media. The movie marked the film debut of Vanessa Redgrave, and in the justly celebrated purple-paper scene, expat chanteuse-to-be Jane Birkin. --David Chute


Taking photographs of a couple making love proves deadly when the photographer enlarges the image and discovers murder. The film and pictures are stolen from his studio and the body vanishes. In this elegant balance of deceit and trickery, the photographer must question the reality ofwhat he has actually seen.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
99 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating enigma... 25 April 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Read "film-buff" reviews of "Blow Up" and you'll find a huge diversity of opinion. It's a masterpiece... it's rubbish... it's tantalisingly complex... it's hedonistically superficial... what happens in the film is "real"... nothing that happens in the film is "real"... and so it goes. Watch the film and take your choice, but the fact that it still generates such reactions is a testament to its enduring impact. So what does it have?

Well, on the down side, a lot of the acting is weak, the musical soundtrack is too self-consciously "hip", and several of the scenes appear to have been inserted purely for effect - "we do nudity, drugs and rock & roll as well as making films". And on the plus side? David Hemmings acting is superb, the cinema-photography is brilliant, and the use of sound (and silence) to create atmosphere is stunningly effective. But beneath all that's superficially good & bad there's something much, much deeper. Firstly, a riddle that drives it and to which there's no answer - in simple terms, what's real and what's not? Antonioni poses this question throughout the film, from the heavily handed obvious (the play acting of the mime troupe), the subtle (the fact that Hemmings' character is never referred to by name), to the brilliantly tense darkroom scenes where his photos are "blown up" to levels that make interpretation of what he and we are "seeing" impossible. Secondly, and even more subtle, is this man's life simply play acting itself - has he become nothing by having everything - is he still "real"?

Deep stuff and a film that is, as a result, a fascinating enigma in its plot, its execution and people's reaction to it.
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An iconic film about sight and perception. 16 Mar 2006
It seems that Blow-Up has been re-evaluated somewhat in recent years, no longer being hailed as the iconic classic it once was, and instead being criticised for the meandering plot (more of an anti-narrative than anything else) and the somewhat dated depiction of swinging 60's London. This is a real shame, but at the end of the day, it's a film that I still enjoy so really, I don't care!! For me, Blow-Up is a film that holds up to repeated viewing, with each subsequent re-viewing revealing more and more (possible) interpretations of the plot. It's a film that requires the viewer's participation and imagination to elaborate on the ideas that Antonioni suggests through movements, composition, actions and sound, and mostly works for me because of an obsession I have with British 60's culture... so the chance to revel in the colours and locations is fantastic, with the film standing as something of a cultural time capsule as well as a slight (though no less enjoyable) murder mystery.
The basic plot revolves around a feckless and self-infatuated photographer at the heart of the happening 60's scene, with Antonioni sketching a world of no-ties sex-orgies, pot parties, protesting students, shallow scenesters, chic fashionistas, gaudy colours, bizarre camera angles, extended jazz-numbers, waif-like models and the gradual disintegration of the hippie era and the sense of innocence lost (see the director's follow up Zabriskie Point for more).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has this been censored? 19 April 2012
By Carolus
On the Internet Movie Database this is quoted as being 111 minutes long. The copy sold here is 106 minutes. Where are the missing five minutes? Nowhere is it mentioned that this is a cut version. What is going on?
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One up for Blow Up 20 Aug 2007
Reading the various reviews of Blow Up, some for, some against, prompted me to at least add my tuppence worth on a film I've long liked and would recommend as being at least as honest a representation on 60's London as was made at that time.
The film's music was very hip and the director deserves real credit in getting a then little known(at least in the U.K.)Herbie Hancock and luminaries to write the soundtrack after apparently failing to find anybody here able to handle what was required (although I'm sure Tubby Hayes or Georgie Fame could have written just as suitable scores had they been asked). Not every film of that period would have included a clip of the Yardbirds as well, even if their music by then had veered away from their old R&B trip.
Blow Up was made just prior to the psychedelic era and to a large extent avoids the trap that so many films depicting the 60's fell into by including large amounts of peace, love and hippy imagery.
The clothes are very representative of that time, right down from the girls with their very skinny Mod clothing, to Hemmings' white strides and black Chelsea boots and looking back at the street scenes in London, Antonioni gets pretty well everything spot on, unlike so many others doing 60's retrospectives a few years later. Yes, Hemmings is full of arrogance but his treatment of women in general is once again very true to life and mirrored very closely the prevailing attitudes. Women's Lib was hardly on the radar screen in '66, despite the presence of Germaine Greer in and around town. Politically correct simply didn't come into it.
As for the film and plot ?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can'y wait for the Blu-Ray version!
Published 13 days ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film
One of my favourite movies. Very evocative of the 60's
Published 21 days ago by A. Arkle
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I bought the DVD to substitute my old VHS. The movie is wonderful, and the DVD vision enriched it and will enjoy you.
Published 23 days ago by Gaetano Fornelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a must have !!
Published 1 month ago by MeLuca
5.0 out of 5 stars What do they call you in bed?....
A successful mod photographer in London whose world is bounded by fashion, pop music, marijuana, and easy sex, feels his life is boring and despairing. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Corey S. Newcombe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
First rate
Published 2 months ago by M D HAWKES
2.0 out of 5 stars Daft Sixties Movie that gets Nowhere!
A photographer takes pictures of unknown women in his studio,goes to a park and takes pictures of a woman and a man. Woman wants his film, he refuses. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tony Fox
1.0 out of 5 stars Grave, a poco, a poco ma non troppo . . .
Enough has been said of this film, good or bad, by other reviewers without my attempting to unravel its hidden depths. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Wilberfalse
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Mystery
I love this mystery film about a photographer who accidentally takes a picture of something he shouldn't, but doesn't really understand until someone tries to steal the negative. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Wayne Wilmot
1.0 out of 5 stars Crap !
One of, if not the most prentious cobbled together pile i've ever wasted my time watching !
And i have been known to really enjoy arty surreal films! Read more
Published 8 months ago by glitters
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