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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely send off for Antonioni
A summing up of all the aging, ailing Antonioni's career themes, His strengths (visual beauty, a sense of mystery and poetry) and weaknesses (pretentious stiff dialogue, ideas that are sometimes not really all that deep, a penchant for getting beautiful actresses undressed without a lot of justification... not that it isn't enjoyable...).

But this is also...
Published on 18 Feb. 2011 by K. Gordon

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Censored, visually weak version
The last film by Antonioni is very worth seeing, but not this version which features on screen blacking out of 'naughty bits',
and a very weak visual transfer.

Pick up the cheaper,'official' UK release instead.
Published on 18 Feb. 2011 by K. Gordon


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely send off for Antonioni, 18 Feb. 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beyond The Clouds [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
A summing up of all the aging, ailing Antonioni's career themes, His strengths (visual beauty, a sense of mystery and poetry) and weaknesses (pretentious stiff dialogue, ideas that are sometimes not really all that deep, a penchant for getting beautiful actresses undressed without a lot of justification... not that it isn't enjoyable...).

But this is also something quite different than he's ever done, in that these are a series of short stories, loosely tied together by sequences of John Malkovich playing a director looking for his next film (Wim Wenders helped the physically limited Antonioni by directing the Malkovich sections).

By keeping the pieces smaller, I found this more fun, and more moving than most of Antonioni's films. There isn't the chance for the ideas to run as thin, and there seems to be more empathy for his characters now. Humans may be screwed up, but Antonioni no longer stands above them judging. One moment actually brought me near tears.

The film captures the lonely enigmatic solitude of the artist, and of life itself.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and strange - an enjoyable oddity, 14 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Beyond The Clouds [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
The first time I watched this film I was slightly bored - couldn't understand what was being said or why. However, having watched it again recently I took each 'story' at face value and found myself thoroughly enjoying the beautiful camera work and actually making some sense of what the film was about and the various themes at play.

if you're not interested in watching films about the genesis of ideas, this is definitely not for you, but if you just want to sit back and watch a couple of hours of beautiful film making, I would reccomend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Censored, visually weak version, 18 Feb. 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beyond the Clouds [DVD] (DVD)
The last film by Antonioni is very worth seeing, but not this version which features on screen blacking out of 'naughty bits',
and a very weak visual transfer.

Pick up the cheaper,'official' UK release instead.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 6 Mar. 2003
By A Customer
Most of the reviews of these wonderful four stories are rather chilly and reserved, but for me it's one of best pieces of visual artwork I've ever come across. It's either you take it, or leave it, doesn't matter if the stories could have happened or not and if the characters behave reasonably or otherwise. Give it a try and you'll return to it. BTW - the music is exceptional.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't make sense of it - but loved it anyway!, 18 April 2007
The first time I watched this film I was slightly bored - couldn't understand what was being said or why. However, having watched it again recently I took each 'story' at face value and found myself thoroughly enjoying the beautiful camera work and actually making some sense of what the film was about and the various themes at play.

if you're not interested in watching films about the genesis of ideas, this is definitely not for you, but if you just want to sit back and watch a couple of hours of beautiful film making, I would reccomend it.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mix bag of misguided brilliance, 5 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
A beautifully shot film. Though at times the continental soundtrack and the in your face scenarios makes you wonder if this is some kind of soft porn film. There are some haunting scenarios (all has been performed well), but some should have been left on the cutting floor. The least plausible one makes you wonder just how does John Malkovich's character gets to bed Sophie Marceau. Even though they are just characters, it makes you wonder if they were only included just to involve the repective famed actors.
Nevertheless, for fans of European Cinema (especially Antonioni) viewing is recommended. For me, this art film walks on a fine line of pretension and genuine liberation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely send off for Antonioni, 18 Feb. 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
A summing up of all the aging, ailing Antonioni's career themes, His strengths (visual beauty, a sense of mystery and poetry) and weaknesses (pretentious stiff dialogue, ideas that are sometimes not really all that deep, a penchant for getting beautiful actresses undressed without a lot of justification).

But this is also something quite different than he's ever done, in that these are a series of short stories, loosely tied together by sequences of John Malkovich playing a director looking for his next film (Wim Wenders helped the physically limited Antonioni by directing the Malkovich sections).

By keeping the pieces smaller, I found this more fun, and more moving than most of Antonioni's films. There isn't the chance for the ideas to run as thin, and there seems to be more empathy for his characters now. Humans may be screwed up, but Antonioni no longer stands above them judging. One moment actually brought me near tears.

The film captures the lonely enigmatic solitude of the artist, and of life itself.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the director's best, despite the eye candy, 22 Jan. 2010
By 
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beyond The Clouds [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
Sophie Marceau, Chiara Caselli, Ines Sastre and Irene Jacob. This Antonioni film certainly has its poster girls. But what's it about? Don't expect anything so definite as an answer.

Listening to the rather tedious commentary given by an American admirer, we learn that Beyond The Clouds emerged from a series of sketches in prose, the knowledge of which helps a little to elucidate the visual narrative. Actually, I found the commentary flawed, especially when key shots or transitions are analysed but all we can watch is a series of boring production stills rather than the images being described.

A european film that certainly invites after screening conversation, but not one you're likely to want to see twice, except for the obvious delight of Marceau and Caselli getting naked. Some of the dialogue is in French, some Italian, some English. I found the final story of a young man's pursuit of an unattainable, abstracted young woman (Jacob, lovely as ever) to be the most enjoyable; others have pointed to the adultery episode with Caselli as being well realised, but altogether there's not much going for this series of short stories. John Malkovich's travelling director doesn't add much beyond frowns and a murmured voice-over.

I saw Antonioni's Identification Of A Woman, another film about a director searching for something and meeting lots of women. That was much sexier and more intriguing, with the high society gatherings familiar from earlier b/w movies. More stylish. I recommend that film instead of this one.

Identification Of A Woman - Michelangelo Antonioni [1982] [DVD]
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63 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beyond reality., 17 Dec. 2000
After the ecstatic reviews it received in the press, I found this film disappointing. I can only imagine that the critics were being kind to an ill, old man of 82 and overly respectful of the reputation of a once great film director. Visually it is very attractive with beautiful shots of a lakeside village and very atmospheric and poetic shots of alleyways and streets in rain and mist. But when it comes to the actions and motivations of the people in the film it is a let-down. I like to be able to believe in and identify with the characters in a film and I couldn't do that here. There are four stories in the film and I will mention only two - the two that seem to me the most trite and pointless.
The first story stars two extremely good-looking newcomers to the screen (Kim Rossi Stuart & Ines Sastre.) He stops his car to ask her the way to the nearest hotel, and because he is so good-looking she gives him the name of her hotel. They see each other during the day and when they retire to their rooms at night across the landing from each other, she lies awake waiting for the knock on the door that never comes. In the morning she leaves early without seeing him. It is two years before they see each other again and this time their relationship progresses a little further - they get to be naked on the bed together. But he behaves in a very odd way indeed; for some five minutes he runs his hands over her body within a millimetre of her skin but without actually touching her. What she thinks is going on as she lies there passively, feeling nothing, is anybody's guess. Then after five minutes, still without having touched her, he gets up abruptly and without speaking a word leaves. Is that the action of a sane man? You wonder why he bothered to take his clothes off if he intended to do so little. She, presumably feeling hurt and frustrated, rushes to the window to see him walking off into the distance. They give each other a feeble wave. End of story. John Malkovich's deep lugubrious voice-over tells us that he behaved in this way either because of folly or pride. Well it was certainly folly - and certainly unbelievable. Or could it have been impotence? Could this story be saying something about the impotence of an old man?
In another segment of the film, Malkovich's character is attracted to a young woman (Sophia Marceau) he sees in a shop window. He can't take his eyes off her and just stands there entranced. She reacts in the same way. He goes into the shop and their silent fascination continues. I felt uncomfortable for both of them. Was something momentous about to happen? It would seem so and our interest is awakened, our expectations aroused. But no; we are just being lead up the garden path to nowhere. He sits outside and eventually she joins him. She tells him only one thing about herself, that she has murdered her father by stabbing him twelve times. Malkovich shows no surprise and the fact seems irrelevant. They then go to her place and they have sex. But this is not the beginning of some deep, meaningful relationship as the earlier enchantment would lead us to suppose. Oh no. When he's had his sex he's had enough and like the previous male protagonist, he just walks away. Another wretched piece of behaviour and another let down. The point? I wish I new.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Antonionis' last, and worst, film., 1 July 2010
By 
MarkusG "Markus" (Stockholm, Sweden) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Beyond The Clouds [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
"Beyond the Clouds" is Antonionis last film, made together with Wim Wenders. And unfortunately, this is his weakest film. No: this is Antonionis only weak film, as he only made masterpieces besides this one. There are several problems with "Beyond the Clouds". The story is not coherent but rather a few fragments about problematic relationships. This, in turn, is framed within a meta-story where a director, played by John Malkovich, tells about pictures, directing and so on, and become involved(?) in a woman. All of this don't feel especially well built: the stories within the story are too flimsy, and the director/Malkovich is neither interesting or believable. He is just pretentious, going around saying things that turns out to be phrases from a book by Antonioni himself. Sure, there are beautiful pictures and filming, but not nearly as good as in his other films. There are lots of famous actors thrown in, even Jeanne Moreau and Marcello Maestroanni plus Irene Jacob and Sophie Merceau besides Malkovich of course. But oddly enough even this feels weird: I get the feeling that this was set up and announced to become Antonionis last film, he was old and sick and had to get help from Wenders, and a lot of actors saw their chance to be in an Antoioni-movie. So, they got it, and therefore the fragmentation. And maybe neither Antonioni nor Wenders cared to sew it all together. I also suspect that Wenders had a bad impact on the project; I'm not too fond of his movies finding them too pretentious and quasi-deep, and this is somehow reflected here.

To sum it up: this movie is not finished, and will never be. I would recommend this film only if you have seen every earlier film by Antonioni, and want to have seen them all. If you haven't seen anything by Antonioni, don't start with this one, see "Il Grido", "L'Eclisse", "L'Avventura", "La Notte", "Blow Up", "Red Desert", "The Passenger", "Zabriske Point" and "Identification of a Woman" first - they are all available on DVD.

The transfer/picture of the DVD is ok, but slightly unsharp. There are some extras but I haven't seen them.
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Beyond The Clouds [DVD] [1994]
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