Cinema

Enthusiasm #7: Blow-Up + Outer Space

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Enthusiasm #7: Blow-Up + Outer Space

- "Sometimes reality is the strangest fantasy of all".

We're delighted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UK release of Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up with a special screening of the film on 35mm.

Following on from his great trilogy of L’Avventura, L’Eclisse, La Notte, and the fog–drenched industrial landscapes of Red Desert, Blow-Up was Antonioni's first foray into English language film and represents a pivotal turning point in the Italian auteur’s career.

Inspired by legendary Argentine writer Julio Cortázar’s enigmatic 1959 short story The Devil's Drool (later re–translated as Blow-Up), Antonioni transposes the story’s action from a seedy Paris backstreet to London in the Swinging '60s, where David Hemmings plays a freewheeling fashion photographer (bearing more than a passing resemblance to David Bailey), who, whilst making grainy enlargements of some old black & white film stock, becomes increasingly obsessed with the possibility that he may have inadvertently photographed a murder scene in Maryon Park.

Featuring Vanessa Redgrave in a breakthrough role, plus Sarah Miles, Jane Birkin and the Yardbirds, Blow-Up remains a fascinating portrait of Swinging London seen through an ex–pat’s lens, and one of the seminal tales of 1960s drug­–infused paranoia.

Preceding the feature film we are excited to present a rare screening of Peter Tscherkassky’s astonishing 1999 short found–footage thriller Outer Space on 35mm. Reappropriating footage from an unremarkable B-movie from the 1950s, Tscherkassky reprocesses, distorts and cross-prints every single frame to create a delirious audiovisual nightmare where the very substance of celluloid film becomes the protagonist in this visceral horror vignette, lurking with chemical malice.

Director(s): Michelangelo Antonioni
Length: 111 min
Cast: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Birkin