Red Desert

Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960s panoramas of contemporary alienation were decade-defining artistic events, and Red Desert, his first color film, is perhaps his most epochal. This provocative look at the spiritual desolation of the technological age—about a disaffected woman, brilliantly portrayed by Antonioni muse Monica Vitti, wandering through a bleak industrial landscape beset by power plants and environmental toxins, and tentatively flirting with her husband’s coworker, played by Richard Harris—continues to keep viewers spellbound. With one startling, painterly composition after another—of abandoned fishing cottages, electrical towers, looming docked ships—Red Desert creates a nearly apocalyptic image of its time, and confirms Antonioni as cinema’s preeminent poet of the modern age.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Italian film scholar David Forgacs
  • Archival interviews with director Michelangelo Antonioni and actress Monica Vitti
  • Two short documentaries by Antonioni: Gente del Po, about a barge trip down the Po River, and N.U. about urban street cleaners
  • Dailies from the original production
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film writer Mark Le Fanu, a reprinted interview with Antonioni conducted by Jean-Luc Godard, and writings by Antonioni on Gente del Po and N.U.

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Italian film scholar David Forgacs
  • Archival interviews with director Michelangelo Antonioni and actress Monica Vitti
  • Two short documentaries by Antonioni: Gente del Po, about a barge trip down the Po River, and N.U. about urban street cleaners
  • Dailies from the original production
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film writer Mark Le Fanu, a reprinted interview with Antonioni conducted by Jean-Luc Godard, and writings by Antonioni on Gente del Po and N.U.

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Red Desert
Cast
Monica Vitti
Giuliana
Richard Harris
Corrado Zeller
Carlo Chionetti
Ugo
Xenia Valderi
Linda
Valerio Bartoleschi
Valerio
Rita Renoir
Emilia
Credits
Director
Michelangelo Antonioni
Screenplay
Michelangelo Antonioni
Producer
Antonio Cervi
Cinematography
Carlo Di Palma
Music
Giovanni Fusco
Screenplay
Tonino Guerra
Camera operator
Dario Di Palma
Editing
Eraldo Da Roma
Art director
Piero Poletto
Set decorator
Sergio Donà

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By Mark Le Fanu

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Gente del Po and More Antonioni Docs

The neorealist roots of Michelangelo Antonioni’s art are on full display this weekend at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image. The series Antonioni Documentaries is the culmination of a string of events in New York over the past week marking the…

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Explore

Michelangelo Antonioni

Director

Though Michelangelo Antonioni worked throughout the forties (on short documentaries like N.U., about street cleaners in Rome) and fifties (including writing the story that was the basis for Federico Fellini’s The White Sheik, and directing his first fiction features, including the penetrating films about bourgeois Italian life Story of a Love Affair and Le amiche), it was in the 1960s that he became a major force in international film. It was also then that he began to typify, alongside such artists as Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, and Alain Resnais, a new European art cinema, expressing a distinctly contemporary ennui. With their stunning visuals, ambiguous narratives, and still relevant focus on modern alienation, Antonioni’s films of this period, all starring Monica Vitti, his lover at the time—L’avventura (famously booed at Cannes for confounding its audience with its longueurs and lack of closure), La notte, L’eclisse, Red Desert—have stood the test of time. And his less iconic later films, like Identification of a Woman, have only grown more compelling and mysterious as the years have passed.