The Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni died Monday night at the age of 94, city officials in Rome announced this morning.
Antonioni’s early and general obituaries sound eerily reminiscent of–oh, a few hours ago, when news broke of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s death at the age of 89. From MSNBC.com:
Considered the cinematic father of modern angst and alienation, Antonioni had a career spanning six decades which included the Oscar-nominated “Blowup” and the internationally acclaimed “L’Avventura” (The Adventure).
And yet another thing may be said of both directors, as far as we’re concerned: While Hollywood was churning out Beach Blanket Bingo, a generation of New Yorkers flocked to the theaters to see foreign film, because it was the only stuff worth watching. They kept watching, and Antonioni and Bergman were worshiped here as artists. One wonders if contemporary American cinema could ever have shaken off the sand and become important again if it weren’t for them.
Requiescant in pace, Antonioni and Bergman.