Red Desert


Review: In an industrial area, Giuliana, an unstable woman, trapped in an unhappy marriage embarks on an affair with a wealthy industrialist at the plant her husband manages.
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Actors: Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti and Xenia Valderi
Year: 1964
Genre: Art House, International and Drama
Conclusion: 4/5
The correct title for this film is Il Deserto Rosso. This is a very haunting and enigmatic film. Superb acting from Monica Vitti and Richard Harris. This is Michelangelo Antonioni’s first colour feature, featuring colours of red, blue and grey. Expertly directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. This is a film about alienation and about being lost in the world. She finds herself disconnected from her husband and has no joy in life. It is about imagination and hallucination. When the film turns slightly red this symbolises freedom, hope and happiness. When blue this symbolises the uncertain future and the fears that accompany it. When grey this symbolises the emptiness and hopelessness of life.  This film could be seen as one of the first films to highlight the damage to the environment caused by industrialisation. Modern life has turned the natural world into a desert while also turning peoples emotional lives into a desert. The characters in this film are incapable of feeling or of relating to each other. The great film critic Philip French once quoted this film as “A political film with anger seething beneath the seductively beautiful surface”.  


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