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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I am an art fag!

Watching Antonioni’s “Blowup”, I realize why I love the 60’s so much. An uber-cool depiction of the flower-power generation, the inherent aimlessness of its declining years, a subjective look at reality, and liberal helpings of surrealism. This movie is not about the 60’s. This IS the 60’s.

Based on a Julio Cortázar short story, it follows an impulsive, and talented photographer Thomas, played brilliantly by a relative unknown David Hemmings (Hey gorgeous!!!), and his romp through the streets of London; always on the lookout for subjects, and often just shooting whatever comes his way. By the way, the opening credits sequence is far too sexy for its own good. If I was to turn off the movie after the first five minutes, I’d have been completely satisfied, and rated it as an insanely good piece of cinema. “Blowup” happens to the coolest hundred minutes ever captured on film, and is one of the few times when the overall ambiance, actually manages to rise above a plot which is excellent in its own right.

Thomas exudes a growing disenchantment, and a tacit longing for some excitement and adventure. A sort of detachment from the “swinging” culture of sex, drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll. It’s his camera which serves as a veritable window to the world; something which helps him find meaning amidst all the sessions shooting naked chicks (go figure!!). Anyway...under some dubious circumstances, we meet Jane, played by Vanessa Redgrave (just let me catch my breath here. Damn that woman is sexy.),
exuding all the allure of a pussycat, albeit a troubled one. Thomas has photographed her, along with a gentleman friend, and she is bent on getting them back...;this is the point where the perfectly arranged jigsaw starts scattering apart. A blowup of the photographs, reveals an apparent sinister and underhanded ploy at assassination, and Thomas sets out to investigate.

There’s no point in spoiling it for you any further, but even if I did, the movie still has enough balls to hold itself and you together till the very last frame. As I said...this is an exercise in objective reality. What makes something ‘real’ for a person? Is it his hopes, dreams, aspirations...and to what an extent is ‘reality’ affected by our perceptions or biases? The ending would be cherished and derided by an equally split demographic…but again, according to me, it all depends on how you choose to look at it. If you like ambiguity, and the chance to ponder the mysteries of Silver Screen offerings...have I got the movie for you. If not...just lose yourself in the brilliant imagery, the hyper kinetic cameo by the 'Yardbirds'(Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck baby!!!)and exchanges like:

Thomas: I thought you were supposed to be in Paris.
Verushka: [taking a toke of her marijuana cigarette] I *am* in Paris!

One hit of such pure, uncut psychedelia, and I'm hooked for life!

P.S. Shreerang, do not state the obvious.


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