The protagonists in the 1961 Italian film, La Notte (“The Night”), are a married couple—emphatically married. Disillusionment, the weary efforts to understand and console, the fearful concern over having caused pain, the unwillingness to part—these and other realities so frequently subsisting in matrimony are beautifully depicted by director Michelangelo Antonioni. Beyond this, the film raises the following questions: Do Western cultures really care about marriage? Do they care about anything? Why does it seem as though nothing of substance takes place in our busy but non-communal cities? (I’m thinking of the sequence in which the wife, played by Jeanne Moreau, strolls through Milan.)
The second half of this near-classic is somewhat too talky, but the movie as a whole is one of the most technically clever, resonantly made pictures I’ve seen.
(In Italian with English subtitles)
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