Blowup (1967)

The refined visual style of Italian maestro Michelangelo Antonioni collides with swinging 60s London in this story of a man who may have unwittingly photographed a murder.

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Film details

Alternative titles

  • The Blow Up Working
  • Blow-up Alternative

Introduction

“It remains a deadpan delight – witty, sexy, nasty, tricky.”
David Thomson, Have You Seen? 2008

Taking a break from his hedonistic lifestyle, fashion photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) snaps two lovers in a park, only to discover apparent evidence of a murder in the background of his shots when they’re developed.

Working from a script by his regular collaborator Tonino Guerra and the radical English playwright Edward Bond, Michelangelo Antonioni is less concerned with the thriller aspects of the plot than with exploring questions of perception. Thanks to his oblique touch, this document of London’s swinging 60s – complete with modish models, The Yardbirds live at the Marquee and a groovy score by the young ‘Herbert’ Hancock – has lasted better than other products of the scene. It’s also a fascinating examination of a professional photographer at work.

Brian De Palma’s Blow Out (1981) is a sly homage, with the evidence of murder found in the background of sound effects recorded for a slasher film.

Cast & Credits

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