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It just has so many layers.

The first thought that came to me sitting in front of my 9″ laptop screen, watching Blowup in the dark. (The pirated file format wasn’t kosher with my TV set up, shucks.)

I thought for quite a while what I would even begin to extrapolate from this movie, when it dawned upon me.  The romance that struck me when watching Antonioni’s opus was not the brief foray into meaning found by Hemmings – the ever-so brief discovery of the filler to his hole, only capable by the photogenic apparatus that is Vanessa Redgrave’s character. Quite the contrary.

It was the nuanced characters, really. Say, the group of African men, that are introduced briefly in the beginning of an early scene.  They’re walked past, and yet – the viewer is told a story in their collective cheerfulness, their foreign garb, and evident marvel with the new world surrounding them; a stark contrast to Hemmings’s moving yet mentally idle photographer when he practically ploughs through them. There’s also the rival guitarist to Jimmy Paige in the early stages of The Yardbirds and the personal destruction of his possibly-pre-lawsuit-era-Gibson-copy. It’s value is unrivaled when it’s thrown into the crowd, but outside of the venue –

without context

the neck is reduced to the fake name that is imprinted onto its headstock.

Definitely some brilliance to uncover in the nuanced characters, definitely.

– Erik Kristman

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