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Red Desert [Blu-ray] [1964]

Monica Vitti , Richard Harris , Michelangelo Antonioni    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: £12.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Red Desert [Blu-ray] [1964] + LA NOTTE [THE NIGHT] (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray)
Price For Both: £31.64

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Product details

  • Actors: Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti, Xenia Valderi, Rita Renoir
  • Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Producers: Tonino Cervi
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Oct 2008
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,414 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

This 1960s Italian drama stars Monica Vitti and Richard Harris and marks director Michelangelo Antonioni's first venture into colour film. Guiliana (Vitti) becomes mentally unstable after being in a car accident but tries to keep her condition from her husband, Ugo (Carlo Chionetti). Lonely, she begins to open up to Ugo's business associate, Corrado (Harris), and they gradually become closer as they spend more time together. Meanwhile, she suffers setbacks that only seem to add to her feeling of isolation.

Product Description

giuliana (monica vitti), moglie di ugo (carlo chionetti), un dirigente industriale, e' depressa e tormentata. il suo senso di insoddisfazione e di inadeguatezza, che l'ha spinta sull'orlo del suicidio, non fa cenno di placarsi, complice l'assenza del marito e l'alienazione di una modernita' priva di significato autentico.l'ingegner corrado zeller (richard harris), amico e collega di ugo, sembra esser l'unico in grado di penetrare il mistero e l'isolamento in cui versa giuliana, che non ha tratto alcun giovamento dalla sua temporanea permanenza in una clinica psichiatrica, dopo il tentato suicidio, cui, nei dialoghi, si fa sempre riferimento definendolo un incidente film procede con lentezza, in una sequenza di eventi quotidiani apparentemente poco importanti, visti pero' con il filtro della sensibilita' di giuliana, per cui la realta', dalla quale ella si percepisce sconnessa, cela qualcosa di terribile e di sbagliato.un'uscita con un gruppo di amici della coppia diventa un'occasione per mettere in risalto la distanza che intercorre tra giuliana e un contesto che non le appartiene, perche' troppo meschino e insensato.l'apparente malattia del piccolo figlio di giuliana, che mette in eccessivo allarme la madre, ma si rivela essere un tentativo di attirare l'attenzione e non andare all'asilo, scatena l'ennesima crisi della protagonista, che, in preda alla disperazione, si reca da corrado, in partenza per la patagonia.nemmeno corrado, con cui giuliana finisce per tradire il marito, dopo un'intensa relazione fatta di sguardi e cenni d'intesa, riesce ad aiutarla, perche', a sua volta, e' incapace di adattarsi alla realta' che lo circonda, da cui scappa viaggiando film si conclude con un ultimo sguardo sul contesto industriale in cui e' ambientato. giuliana, ormai rassegnata, si allontana assieme al proprio figlio

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, not so great DVD. 15 Mar 2007
This is a great movie ( and a cinematic landmark being Antonioni's first in colour) given a pretty dreadful presentation on DVD by IMAGE. Not surprisingly it's from the early days of DVD, circa 1999 or so, so the letterbox image is non-anamorphic 1.85:1(so black bars will still appear even on widescreen displays!) and the sound is only so-so, and there's zero bonus features. Hopefully Criterion or someone will get around to giving it the respect it deserves.

I can't believe some of the prices this is listed at on Amazon, from unscrupulous US sellers. I bought it 5 or 6 yrs ago for around $12 US . But come on - 107 GBP ?!! I'd expect Antonioni to hand deliver it for that amount. I urge anybody wanting this to wait until something better comes along.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Il Deserto Rosso 22 Jan 2009
I have to take issue with the previous review.
The BFI sourced the transfer of 'Red Desert' to Blu Ray from the original negative. Reviewers with far more technical knowledge than I have say the colours are true to the original 35mm release. I have seen the Blu Ray projected and the depth of colour, definition and healthy amount of film grain present, (In other words, the filmic look has not been smoothed out too much with restoration tools), create a truly fantastic home cinema experience.
If you view this or indeed any Blu Ray on a small TV or PC Monitor, then you will not see a difference in definition. You need a full 1080p TV of 40" or larger, in most cases, to really appreciate the difference between HD and SD.
But enough technical stuff, this film haunts me, Monica Vitti a pale chimera in Antonioni's bleached, barren yet beguiling poem to alienation, abstraction and industrialisation.
This Blu Ray is the cue for cineasts to go Hi-Def! Buy it now!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desert Hearts 9 Nov 2008
By wabrit
This was Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's first film in colour, and was to be his last film in Italy for many years as after this he decamped first to the UK ("Blow Up") and thence to the US ("Zabriskie Point", "The Passenger") before eventually returning to native soil to make "The Mystery of Oberwald" in the 80's. It arrived as the end of a sequence of controversial but ground-breaking films detailing the modern condition - "L'Avventura", "La Notte" and "L'Eclisse" - all also featuring Monica Vitti who has the lead role here.

This subject of the film is the relationship between the modern industrial world and those that fit (or, in the case of the Vitti character, do not fit) within it. Antonioni conjures a strange beauty out of the factory-dominated landscapes and it's clear that his reaction is not (as we might automatically conclude in more environmentally troubled times) that industrial progress is necessarily a bad thing, but something a little more complicated. This ambiguous approach, allied with the extraordinary use of artificial colour (grass and fruit painted shades of grey and black) lends the film a compulsively mysterious air, at times almost tipping it into the territory of science fiction. At the centre of it is Vitti, who provides a superb performance (her co-star, a dubbed Richard Harris, received much less favourable reviews, but to my mind brings a stolid charmlessness that perfectly suits his character).

This is an excellent presentation of a wonderful but challenging film by the BFI; visually it has never looked better, and there is a very informative commentary by the Italian scholar David Forgacs which helps to illuminate the context in which the film was made.

Highly recommended.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars il deserto rossi 4 Nov 2008
By MarkusG
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Red Desert (Il deserto rossi, 1964) is filmed in an industrial landscape filled with large machines, oil refinerys, garbage heaps, big buildings and so on. Despite this it is incredibly beautiful. The first shots show an industrial plant out of focus accompained to non-melodic electronic music, and the colours and forms reminds of abstract paintings, and Antonioni was inspired by modern art when he made this. His earlier films, L'Eclisse, L'Avventura and La Notte) also feels like paintings with beautiful compositions, but in Il deserto rossi this is abstract instead of hyper realistic, sometimes just layers of technicolor out of focus. This makes the movie visually unique I think.
The story is, I would say, about alienation, and also psychic illness/angst. Monica Vitti plays Guiliana, a young woman who is recovering mentally from a car crash. She doesn't have any good contact with her husband nor her son, and she becomes attracted to a business partner of her husband. This story is framed within the theme of modernity with big industries and business, and how they affect humans - clearly the environments they produce is not healthy, neither physically nor mentally. In the film we never see any 'normal' milieus, as in Antonionis other movies, like the life in an italian city or village. Instead the environment is cluttered and dominated by industry, somtimes a big boat is seen behind some trees or a window, and the only city streets we see are muted grey. This is comically enhanced when in one scene we see a street vendor, and he only sells grey stuff (even the fruits are grey!...I think it is supposed to be fruits...). So the scenes are very stylized, Antonioni even painted the grass in some shots...

The transfer of this DVD from Bfi is excellent, and a commentary track by a film scholar is included. Red Desert is a unique movie, and anyone interested in cinema or Antonioni should see or buy it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars “Red Desert” on BLU RAY - UK and European Fans Should Check Before...
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of the 1964 Italian classic “Red Desert”. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mark Barry
3.0 out of 5 stars Red Desert (2 disc set) - Antonioni
This would have been a stunning set as it includes both blu-ray and standard definition discs, as well as a handy booklet with quotes from Antonioni himself. Read more
Published 8 months ago by artalis
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and amazing film
Admittedly seen in its full glory at the cinema, where it was breathtaking. The lead actress is incredibly beautiful and mysterious in her role. Read more
Published 15 months ago by minty
4.0 out of 5 stars Red Deserted?
I suppose anyone looking at this would already be trying to complete a collection of 1960's iconic films.
Out of favour by now, the Red Desert would have its place. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Geoff KERSHAW
3.0 out of 5 stars Old stuff
Not your fault - but the film just doesn't stand up after 50 years! But it was sort of fun to see it again.
Published 18 months ago by Mr
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Dessert (I mean the play on word)
Antonioni is the flawed genius though master of colour and composition. This to me is my favourite of all his films and although he suffers from appearing to have not one iota of... Read more
Published 23 months ago by LeBrit
5.0 out of 5 stars Austere,abstract,magnificent
Il Deserto Rosso was Antonioni's 1st colour film, and a key work following the alienation trilogy, where the divorce between technology and morality, and the relationship between... Read more
Published on 3 Sep 2011 by technoguy
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully constructed piece of cinema
"There's something terrible in reality," Guiliana (Monica Viti) tells Corrado Zeller (Richard Harris) towards the end of the film. Read more
Published on 21 May 2011 by TGillespie
2.0 out of 5 stars Undertones but no conclusion
I guess this one is mainly for fans of the work of Antonio, can I suggest a real "Cult" presentation in that regard. Read more
Published on 2 May 2011 by MelAus
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing images, just wish the drama was quite as strong
Breathtaking images, for the first time Antonioni's career in color. I'd be happy to have still frames from this framed on my wall. Read more
Published on 12 Feb 2011 by K. Gordon
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