Documentary Shorts by Antonioni
Introduced by John MacKay, Yale University
People of the Po Valley (Gente del Po)
1943–1947, 9 mins. Antonioni’s first film depicts the life of fishermen in Porto Tolle, on the River Po. “My only presumption: to have opened the road to neorealism. It was 1943. Visconti was filming Ossessione on the Po, and near the same river, I was filming my documentary.”
N.U. (Nettezza urbana)
1948, 9 mins. N.U. chronicles the lives of street cleaners in Rome, with a jazz-blues soundtrack by longtime collaborator Giovanni Fusco. “I attempted to realize a montage that was completely free, poetically free, searching for some expressive values.”
Lies of Love (L’amorosa menzogna)
1949, 10 mins. Antonioni depicts the emergence of a new postwar popular culture, exemplified by the fotoromanzi (photographic comic-strip novels). He follows the stars to the studio, and outside when they wear their working clothes. This short was the inspiration for Federico Fellini’s film The White Sheik, made a few years later.
1949, 9 mins. A study of the rites and beliefs in the world of superstitions.
Seven Reeds, One Suit (Sette canne, un vestito)
1949, 9 mins. Made when Italian fashion was establishing itself, Antonioni’s film shows the different stages in the process of producing rayon: from the plant, the reed, the raw material, and the transformations leading to the textile, to a fashion show featuring beautiful elegant gowns.
1950, 4 mins. A fragment from a tourist documentary about a famous ski resort.
The Villa of Monsters (La villa dei mostri)
1950, 10 mins. Antonioni films the grotesque stone sculptures in the “enchanted garden” of Bomarzo.
Return to Lisca Bianca (Ritorno a Lisca Bianca)
1983, 9 mins. Antonioni returns, 24 years later, to the sites where he filmed L’avventura.
1989, 18 mins. Kumbha Mela, the most important religious celebration in India, takes place every twelve years in the sacred place where the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati Rivers converge. Invited by Indira Gandhi in 1977, Antonioni filmed the ceremonies with a 16mm Bell & Howell camera.
1990, 9 mins. This city portrait is part of an anthology film made on the occasion of the soccer World Cup in Italy.
Noto, Mandorli, Vulcano, Stromboli, carnevale
1992, 8 mins. A study of Sicily’s baroque architecture.
1997, 9 mins. Antonioni explores some of the magical places on the island of Sicilia.
Free with Museum admission.