Michelangelo Antonioni, The Passenger, and a deviation it becomes true
I am a huge fan of Antonioni’s films. From LAvventura, Il Grido, Red Desert, and Blowup, he left many amazing films. There are many great directors, but he was someone who you can’t imitate easily. For example, there are many western versions of Akira Kurosawa’s films. But, there aren’t many filmmakers who successfully imitate antonioni’s film. It’s because his film has very clear style, which many directors not focus enough on their projects these days. While I was taking Deborah’s class, we watched one of his, The Passenger. The passenger is about a story about a journalist’s extreme deviation of stealing weapon merchandiser's identity without knowing the one’s background clearly. This film is unique, unconventional and cinematic. It’s because the way Antonioni tell audiences a story through out showing atmospheric experiences, and not telling the inciting incident directly, and furthermore the story is driven not only plot, but also discovering character.
In the beginning of the movie, we learned the protagonist’s personality, and occupation only. Than, One of his colleague died, we do not know who that is. But, the protagonist directly change his identity. Likewise, the structure is well structured. Yet, audience still do not know what the character wants. Inciting incident begins. Again, because we do not know the protagonist’s information, such as his financial status, nor his family size, and where he was coming from specifically, the story structure works from chain of events with plots. As the movie goes, we are learning who the protagonist is, and what he desires through supporting character(His wife in america) This is very smart way to keep refreshing us information very elegant way unlike other films, which give away the delicious part of the film, reveal the character’s desire in the first 10 min.
Mise En Scene of this film is stunning, and considered highly. Like all other his films, this film also incorporate with architecture element into a film. The film begins with endless desert in the middle of africa. In the middle of nature’s sublime scene, Antonioni create a magic architectural magic into his film. The protagonist changes his identity with the weapon Merchandiser. Antonioni shows audiences the distance between the protagonist’s hotel room, and a dead weapon merchandiser’s. Ironically, Antonioni also uses this architectural understanding of space into a story. The protagonist brings the dead body into his room, and he stays at the dead body’s room. The hotel manager counts dead body as the protagonist, because of architectural space that were changed. Likewise, there are several other scene such as Gaudi’s Roof scene and last hotel spacial design, every single camera movement, and composition show that Antonioni want audiences to aware what’s the space in this scene smoothly. It’s very unique way to describe, because many lazy filmmakers use establishing shot to “describe” the space and directly focus on dialogue these days.
In conclusion, Michelangelo's The Passenger is a great film that can represent his film styles. The film shows his known talent such as spacial design sense. Additionally, the way he uniquely tells story with a specific Mise En Scene style to give audiences a 120 min of little fantasy. Making a film is difficult, making a good film takes long time practice, and making a timeless movie is almost impossible. Antonioni made it to be possible uses his own ways of seeing this world. This is a great example of why a filmmaker must study fine art, architecture. Filmmakers are creating a world that are not exist in this world. Like Antonioni did, we all filmmakers needed to rethink of how we can convince our audiences about our own world use spacial design that makes everything more convincible to not only the story, but also it will give audiences a moment that they won’t forget.