His First “Story of a Love Affair” (The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni #1)

The best thing about the late Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni was his perennial interest in the human condition.  His first feature film, 1950’s Story of a Love Affair, offers an original screenplay wherein a husband investigates his young wife’s obscure past and a vexing affair between said wife and a car dealer gets rekindled.  Ironically, however unsavory the (rich) husband is, the two lovers enable him to morally one-up them.  At long last, an event that would seem to “free” the lovers merely leaves them at a painful impasse.

Although some of what is here cannot be taken seriously, alas, Affair is a personal and impressively directed enterprise.  As was expected, stylistically it anticipates L’Avventura, Eclipse, etc., and it is near-profound—unlike L’Avventura, Eclipse, etc., which are profound.  The progress was beginning.

The film stars Massimo Girotti and Lucia Bose.

(In Italian with English subtitles)

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