La Notte

122 minutes 1961

Michelangelo Antonioni's 1961 follow-up to L'Avventura—and middle feature in a loose trilogy ending with L'Eclisse—repeats many of the melancholic themes of its predecessor, with particular emphasis on the boredom and atrophied emotions of the rich. The results are somewhat more mixed, though on the whole the performances are better—which may not matter so much in an Antonioni context. The minimal plot, restricted to less than 24 hours, involves the death of passion between a successful novelist (Marcello Mastroianni) and his frustrated wife (Jeanne Moreau). The best parts of this movie tend to cluster around the beginning and end, and include the novelist's brief encounter with a nymphomaniac patient at a hospital and his longer encounter with the daughter (Monica Vitti) of an industrialist at a party; one of the worst is a walk taken by the wife around Milan, full of symbolic and pretentious details. In Italian with subtitles.

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