(Originally published in Rocky Mountain Bullhorn)
A shallow fashion photographer (David Hemmings) in swinging‘60s London unwittingly captures a murder on film – or does he? – in Michelangelo Antonioni’s acclaimed Blowup. Hemmings’ Thomas is beset by ennui, and is only awakened from his hollow lifestyle of casual sex, materialistic excess, and inactivity after discovering – in a brilliantly edited sequence of escalating close-ups – that his photographs of a beautiful young woman (Vanessa Redgrave) and her male companion may reveal a lethal crime. In typical Antonioni fashion, wealth, fame and power cannot temper Thomas’ urban malaise, and the director’s decision to leave his existential mystery unsolved speaks to the inescapability of modern man’s emotional and spiritual alienation.