Where there aren’t any houses

SeminalImage-LEclisse62Image via Tom Sutpen.

A flat expanse of landscape on the Po delta. A village of low, colored houses. The sidewalk continues beyond the end of the street. No more houses flanking it, only the sidewalk proceeding all by itself toward the embankment.

At night there’s always a small empty truck, as though it’s owner lived there, where there aren’t any houses.

~ From That Bowling Alley on the Tiber – Tales of a Film Director, by Michelangelo Antonioni, translated by Willam Arrowsmith.

7 Responses to “Where there aren’t any houses”

  1. That applies to the ending of many an Antonioni…they always end on sparse areas where humans are even more remote than they were starting out. Right from the start – CRONACA DI UN AMORE where this love affair ends because the crime they intended to unite them is thwarted even if they are granted the freedom to do so. Then L’AVVENTURA obviously, LA NOTTE again, BLOWUP, ZABRISKIE POINT and THE PASSENGER.

    I recently got hold of a copy of an Antonioni book – The Architecture of Vision, haven’t perused it yet but plan to. I’d love to read this one too.

    Antonioni planned to do a film based on one of the stories called THE CREW. Scorsese stated in his obituary that he tried to get backers for it but it didn’t work out.

  2. I read the script for The Crew. It was quite good. A very tight, straighforward thriller it concerned a wealthy man who on the spur of the moment decides to go for a sail on his yacht, and hires a crew of local layabouts to help him. They turn on him, but he fights back (against incredible odds) and wins.

  3. Cool…the yacht sail sounds like L’AVVENTURA, though the general plot sounds like MR. ARKADIN. Antonioni being Antonioni, I can’t imagine how the film would have ended up being but it seems like an optimistic tone introduced in his later years and also autobiographical, the way an old man suffering partial paralysis directs a movie like BEYOND THE CLOUDS and later the two shorts for EROS and LO SQUARDO DI MICHELANGELO.

  4. Sounds more like Welles’s The Deep. I’m sure the thriller aspect would have been absorbed into something else, less definable.

  5. True. Much in the way that Blow-Up is and isn’t a murder mystery.

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