'Blow-Up' Director Passes Film Legend Michelangelo Antonioni Dies

Italian film legend Michelangelo Antonioni died peacefully in his home in Rome on Monday evening. The director was famous for groundbreaking films like "Blow-Up" and "L'avventura". He was 94.


A photo of Antonioni taken in 1993, in Paris.
AFP

A photo of Antonioni taken in 1993, in Paris.

Italian film legend Michelangelo Antonioni died peacefully in his home in Rome on Monday evening. Antonioni's family reported the death of the director Tuesday morning, according to the Italian news agency Ansa.

The director achieved legendary status in the 1960s with movies that broke new ground in terms of aesthetics, including his trilogy, "L'avventura" in 1960, "La Notte" in 1961 and "L'eclisse" in 1962.

"Every movement of the head, every gesture, every camera movement became something necessary, irrevocable and unmistakable in his eyes," said the German film director Wim Wenders, who helped Antonioni publish his directorial memoirs, "That Bowling Alley on the Tiber." Hollywood gave him a life achievement Oscar in 1995 for his 25 films and several screenplays.

Together with Federico Fellini, Antonioni helped move Italian film away from the neorealist movement. His 1966 film "Blow-Up," about a fashion photographer in swinging sixties London, was an aesthetic criticism of the media and pop culture and won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival. He followed it up with "Zabriskie Point", an homage to the 1968 political movement, filmed in California's Death Valley.

Antonioni had been confined to a wheelchair since suffering a stroke in 1985. Severely weakened by the stroke, he was looked after by his wife, Enrica Fico, 41 years his junior. She was with him when he passed away peacefully in his chair Monday evening, according to Ansa. He died on the same day as another highly influential director, Ingmar Bergman.

Antonioni will be buried Thursday in Ferrara, the northern Italian city where he was born.

ap/reuters

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