• In his five-star review of Criterion’s new DVD and Blu-ray special editions of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert, Time Out New York’s Joshua Rothkopf muses about the unmistakable impact Antonioni’s sixties portraits of spiritual desolation have had on popular culture, whether we’ve realized it or not: “Whenever two elegant characters are separated by distance and ennui—maybe it’s a perfume ad, maybe a movie—that’s the impact of Antonioni . . . When Austin Powers poses his fashion models (‘Pout, baby!’) or when soundman John Travolta pieces together a murder mystery in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, that’s Antonioni again.” Red Desert hails from this enormously influential period, of course, and Rothkopf suggests that it may be a good introduction to the Italian director’s work for those younger viewers who know his influence better than his films: “This was Antonioni’s first film in color, a decision he didn’t take lightly. (Whole fields are painted subtle shades.) Yet gorgeous as it is, Red Desert may have even more resonance with a generation enraged by environmental rape.

    And here’s what Paper, Cinematical, Slant, and DVD Talk have to say about the release.

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