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Blow Up [DVD] [1966]

by Amazon UK


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It may not stand up as an art-house film (the opening and closing shots of a mime playing tennis belong in the Pretentious Metaphor Hall of Fame), but this head scratcher is an absorbing travelogue of swinging London circa 1967, courtesy of auteur tourist Michelangelo Antonioni. Blow Up is also a meticulous, paranoid murder mystery that has left its fingerprints on dozens of later films, from Coppola's The Conversation to the recent cult item The Usual Suspects. The efforts of a fashion photographer (David Hemmings) to analyse a photo snapped off-the-cuff in a public park, which may have recorded a crime in progress, resonated at the time with conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. From here it looks like an anticipation of up-to-the-minute anxieties about the filtering of perception through metastasising media. The movie marked the film debut of Vanessa Redgrave, and in the justly celebrated purple-paper scene, expat chanteuse-to-be Jane Birkin. --David Chute

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