WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Thomas (Hemmings) is a brash, young, talented photographer living in London in the late sixties. He’s become very bored with life until, one afternoon, he gets revitalized after he thinks he may have stumbled onto a murder mystery when he blows up a picture he took of an unsuspecting couple by themselves in the park. Suddenly, his newfound passion for his craft drives him to try and figure out if he did, in fact, witness a murder or if he’s just allowing his imagination to get the best of him
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
BLOW-UP definitely falls into the “brilliant movie, but not for everyone” category. I’d been waiting years to see this film before I finally got my chance today and it was well worth the wait. I knew the movie would have signature sixties film staples such as sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll (The Yardbirds have a very amusing cameo) and I dreaded that it would be a major focal point in the film and take away from the story, but thankfully it didn’t. I found BLOW-UP to be a surprisingly peaceful and relaxing watch and absolutely loved the beautiful cinematography by director of photography Carlo Di Palma. The entire movie is a complete joy to watch with many memorable scenes that’ll stay with you long after you’re done viewing it – one of my favorites would be the park scenes when Thomas is clicking away and you can hear the leaves gently rustling in the wind; a great example of a very masterfully shot and directed sequence. There is a definite deliberate pacing to the film (read: slow), which didn’t bother me at all, as I was much too involved with the photographer and his unusual and exciting lifestyle.
Speaking of Thomas, I really can’t say enough about David Hemmings’ performance (R.I.P) in this film – he absolutely makes this movie! He just oozes cool. It’s another one of those oh-so often occasions that I actually wanted to be a character in a film. He is his own man - he does as he pleases all the time. As the film progresses, you can sense his demeanor slowly changing, but he always manages to retain a bit of that cool confident exterior. Antonioni did a masterful job with both the writing of the characters and direction of the film. BLOW-UP is often classified as “artsy” and deservedly so, it’s quite deep and has plenty of layers to discover but even just on its own, it’s a fascinating, gorgeous-looking film that was just a complete breath of fresh air to me. This is easily one of the best and most important films from the sixties.
Audio Commentary by Peter Brunette, author of "The Films of Michaelangelo Antonioni": Brunette pretty much breaks this film down frame by frame in an extremely thorough and exceptional manner. I discovered so much more about this movie and the director than I ever could’ve dreamed. I’d recommend listening to this soon after your viewing of the film – it’ll make you appreciate and understand it all the more.
Music-Only Audio Track: Experience the entire movie while only hearing Herbie Hancock’s score and nothing else.
Teaser and Theatrical Trailers
You’ve been warned, if you only like flash, gloss and quick developments in your movies, then you should steer clear of BLOW-UP. On the other hand, if you want to travel back to a time and place to rediscover all its beauty and marvel (swingin’ London in the sixties), immerse yourself in glamorous and quirky characters (David Hemmings, a young and ravishing Vanessa Redgrave) and experience a very deep, beautifully shot and photographed philosophical mystery, than I would suggest nothing short of a purchase for this baby!