La notte

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(The Night). La notte takes place over one night, in one city, Milan. Still, Antonioni's characters are pilgrims in strange lands and times-in L'eclisse, for instance, Alain Delon, in love, will say, “I feel like I'm in a foreign country.” In La notte, that foreign territory is a marriage of ten years being questioned for the first time. Marcello Mastroianni, a novelist, and Jeanne Moreau, his wife, while visiting a dying friend, realize that there is little left between them. The rest of the night is spent in escape and disillusionment, played out against Antonioni's rigorous sense of place and architecture. The centerpiece of the film is Moreau's walk through a Milan that is lacking in charm but filled with beauty and meaning for her, with only camera and composition to tell us so. “Beauty,” as their dying friend has said, “is depressing in certain circumstances.” In La notte, the marvelous Moreau begins the retreat to Vitti's Red Desert island.

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