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La Notte (1961) Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni Easy to parody, impossible to replicate, what Andrew Sarris called “Antoniennui”—glamorous European movie stars composed in tableaux in front of brutalist architecture, speaking past each other in existential aphorisms—can be embraced as a Marxist-influence tract on the alienation of contemporary life or snorted at as chic pretention, equal and opposite visceral reactions to ambitious modern aesthetics which in either case and for better and worse say more about...
Hiroshima, mon amour (1959) Last Year at Marienbad (1961) Directed by Alain Resnais With his first two feature films, Resnais cerebrally altered cinema, addling it with an enigmatic, haunting, dogged vision. Last Year at Marienbad, in particular, become an art-cultural touchstone, inspiring a hard-to-believe vogue for nim, an ancient game of strategy and matchsticks which is featured in the film, as well as apparently many insufferable cocktail conversations: according to columnist Inez Robb, “The surest way...
Blue Velvet (1986) Directed by David Lynch In the autumn and winter of 2014-15, an exhibition of David Lynch’s early pieces, The Unified Field, was on display at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia. Lynch spent several years studying here, creating a body of work with a je ne sais quoi only identifiable as his own. The exhibit featured sculpture, painting, and short films, all of which explored the same paradigms...