Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Blowup” is a cinematic masterpiece that has withstood the test of time. It is as relevant now as it was in 1966. It has inspired and influenced countless filmmakers, as well as sparked heated debates among movie aficionados. It is a very potent work of art that either agitates or aggravates its viewers into spontaneous applause or inordinate disdain.
I just purchased my copy of the film yesterday, after seeing it on cable the other week. I have seen the film more than a dozen times before and my feelings had been mixed. But seeing it again after so many years made it fresh, and this time around I was applauding.
I remember attending a special screening of “Blowup” with my wife Anne eight years ago, in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. While we were visiting the museum, I saw an announcement of the screening. I literally pushed Anne into the auditorium, eager to finally see the movie on the ‘big screen.’ We were newly married then and I really did not know how she will react to the film’s ending.
Antonioni directing the "fashion shoot" sequence.
I was still a teenager the first time I saw “Blowup,” and I thought it was an absolute work of genius. The second time I saw it, I was in college and I thought it was clever. The third to the nth time I saw the movie, I was in film school and my feelings toward it vacillated from admiration to revulsion. By the time I was seated next to my wife in the LACMA Theater, I was somewhat indifferent. Pathetic as it may sound, I was basically watching it again to relish the ‘photography sequences’ (I was not yet a career photographer then) – It is, after all, the quintessential “photographer film.”