is a 1966 British-Italian film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, his first English-language film. Inspired by the 1959 short story, Las babas del diablo
, ("The devil's drool/drivel") by Julio Cortázar
, and by Swinging London
photographer David Bailey.
The plot follows Thomas (David Hemmings), a fashion photographer. One day following a shot he walks through a park taking pictures of people; one person tracks him back to his studio demanding the film which he gives them. He later discovers what seems to be mysterious figure in a negative and the film follows his experiences in searching for answers to these mysteries.
A box office and critical smash hit with really explicit sexual content for its time, this film was released in direct defiance to The Hays Code
creating a subsidiary label to do it. As a result, the Code was all but done for after that and soon replaced by the present rating system. In short, this film did for its time for cinematic artistic freedom in the 1960s what Showgirls
utterly failed to do in the 1990s.
Tropes associated with this work:
- Book Ends: The movie starts and ends with mimes.
- The Cameo: The most obvious are The Yardbirds (with both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck), which play on a local club. In the same scene you can also spot Michael Palin between the crowd.
- Camera Fiend: Thomas.
- Cool Car
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Thomas' shooting session with Veruschka (pictured above) is highly reminiscent of sexual intercourse.
- Enhance Button: Averted. He tries to enlarge (blowup) the picture, but it loses resolution with each try. The fact is lampshaded by Bill's girlfriend.
- Foreshadowing: When discussing a book he is making with his photographs, Thomas says something along the lines of "It's violent, I want to end it with something peaceful". The last scenes of the movie are as peaceful as you can get.
- Jerkass: Thomas.
- Rockers Smash Guitars: After using it to perform Percussive Maintenance on a misbehaving amp.
- The Sixties: Specifically, the mid-decade Swinging London/Mod scene. The music, the clothes, the dancing, the apartment, everything.
- Spooky Photographs
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe, Bill's paintings.
- Unbuilt Trope: The Enhance Button (or at least an analog version of it).