on 6 June 2009
A great remastered version of a classic film. At last we can see Antonioni's film and Steve Cochran's performance in sharp beautiful images. I'm in the US and thought I would have to purchase a multi region dvd to view this and was prepared to do so. But, in 3 out of our 4 dvds, it played with no problems.New and even more sub titles have been added as well as the Italian trailer and a few deleted scenes. The story of Aldo and his long journey to nowhere is symbolic of working people all over the world. Steve Cochran gives the best perormance of his under rated career. It's about time Hollywood honored this magnificent actor for his film roles and not his tabloid adventures.Antonino, Cochran and the other performers, Alida Valli, Betsy Drake, Dorian Gray and Lyn Shaw are excellent. A film you see once and never forget. So see this version many times and you'll always find something you missed before.
on 11 November 2007
I've usually avoid old Italian films but something in the blurb on the DVD cover intrigued me. Still, I kept my expectations low which may partially explain the high rating I gave this movie.
It took awhile to get used to watching American B-actor Steve Cochran dubbed, but I was eased past it for the simple reason that he is just about perfect as an Italian man humiliated when his lover (and mother of his daughter) leaves him. He takes his daughter and hits the road -- on foot -- with no goal in mind. Certainly, it isn't to find a woman, altho he keeps running into lonely, yearning woman that he just can't seem to focus romantically on. One woman is played by American Betsy Blair (also dubbed). Another is played by a now unknown actress Lynn Shaw who was tantalizingly beautiful (internet research has inconclusively determined that she's British -- regardless -- whatever happened to her?!).
This is a black & white film by Michangelo Antonioni whose team gives the gritty visuals a lyrical beauty. And it includes some fine work by Italian actors -- especially the actress named, believe it or not, Dorian Gray. Altho Alida Valli's name is high in the cast, she has just a supporting part in the vital role of the woman who betrays him.
This is a fascinating look at another culture in another era -- but with drama that feels universal.
Unique amongst the Antonioni films I've seen, in that it has a lower
class and sympathetic lead character.
A worker is rejected by his long time lover when he asks to marry her,
and takes their shared 7 year old daughter and hits the road in
response, meeting and struggling with various women along the way.
A much more naturalistic and neo-realist film than other Antonioni
films, interesting and moving, with a much clearer POV and story. It's
also very well shot, although in a more subtle, less breathtaking way
than his other work. But it does succumb to melodramatics at times, and
the acting is OK, not great. There's also a touch of misogyny. But this
is still a solid work by a master film-maker, so worth checking out if
Antonioni is of interest to you.
Having seen Antonioni's later more famous films,L'Avventura,La Notte,L'Eclisse,Red Desert and Passenger, I was only too keen to dip into this earlier neo-realist drama of working man mechanic,Steve Cochran(Aldo) rejected by his lover Irma,he takes off with his daughter,Rosina,as they travel round the Po valley,flat lands,marshlands and flood plains in search of love and work.It's a heartfelt journey,full of full-blooded episodes,with interesting characters,in a wide desolate environment.The aimless drift and wandering is emphasised by the mist and lost child theme,the working class shacks in an industrial landscape,reminiscent of Red Desert,the feeling of being on the road,his stay at the roadside gas station.There is a theme of distant horizons as in Venezuela.
There are scenes where the modern world encroaches like the motor-boat race(cf rockets in La Notte).Irma(Alida Valli), with whom he's been for 7 years,while her husband is working in Australia,offered him the richest relationship and by whom he's had a daughter,needs him the least.Elvia,his ex needs him emotionally,but takes more than she gives.As he travels on the relationships grow more physical.Virginia(Dorian Gray),the voluptuous,sensual widow who runs the roadside petrol station.She puts her father,wayward and anarchic like Aldo's Rosina,into a home and demands he sends Rosina back home on a bus.This he does in one of the most heart-breaking scenes,but due to his depression,he realizes Virginia is not the answer.He moves onto Adreina(Lyn Shaw)at the lowest level of society living in a leaking shack as a prostitute,their relationship is primarily sexual,Aldo works on a Po fishingdredger, on a river given to flooding.Without the get-up-and-go she wants,Aldo can't see a long-term life and takes off back to Irma via Victoria,where he picks up a suitcase and the fact Irma had sent a postcard about Rosina.
When he finally returns home, he is more despairing than before. Irma has a new man and a new child, while his former colleagues are on strike in protest against the arrival of an American base nearby.People are protesting at the government expropriation of their land to build an airport.Aldo runs up the tower,which is where the filmbegan, where he used to like to look down from the top of the refinery tower and survey his work area and the surrounding town. He could even see his own dwelling from that height.But with the chaos below and his loss of bearings,he suffers vertigo and falls to his death.The last shot of Irma over Aldo taken vertically from the tower.The uncanny technological presence contributes to the post-human co-ordinates of the final scene.There are lots of panning shots and symbolically trees being pulled down and the use of high horizons,highlighting the increasingly erratic movements of the child,a cipher seen without sentimentality.The film highlights the emasculation of the working man,the isolation and failure to communicate,the dehumanising encroachment of modernism,the piano-based musical score further accentuates the interior,loneliness of the landscape settings. English speakers are dubbed,even Monica Vitti is dubbed over Dorian Gray.Cochran was never better.
on 8 July 2014
A 1957 Antonioni film which was completely new to me. (I had literally never heard of it.) The title translates as "The Cry", which IMDB describes as a "rare, early film" from the master director. Far more of a neorealist work, given the subject matter, although the Antonioni style is very, very much in evidence. It is the story of the jilted Aldo (Steve Cochran), as he drifts around the Po valley with his daughter. (Born out of wedlock with Irma, his partner of seven years.)
It is an extremely atmospheric film, which plays out against the most barren of landscapes. Leafless trees and foggy skies are used in a very symbolic way, as the film's characters suffer with their bleak, hopeless situations. On the one hand, it plays like a snapshot of fifties life in rural Italy....... the Emilio Romagna region, in fact. (Much like "Blow Out" shows us London in the swinging sixties and "Zabriskie Point" crystallises a hippy era Los Angeles.) On the other hand, this film manages to feel amazingly relevant, in its depiction of people being left behind by a changing world.