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Blow Up

David Hemmings , Vanessa Redgrave , Michelangelo Antonioni    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 104.88
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Product Description


This 1966 masterpiece by Michelangelo Antonioni (The Passenger) is set in the heady atmosphere of Swinging London, and stars David Hemmings as an unsmiling fashion photographer hooked on ephemeral meaning attached to anything: art, sex, work, relationships, drugs, events. When a real mystery falls into his lap, he probes the evidence for some reliable truth, but finds it hard to reckon with. Vanessa Redgrave plays an enigmatic woman whose desperation to cover something up only seems like one more phenomenon in Hemmings's disinterested purview. This is one of the key films of the decade, and still an unsettling and lasting experience. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movies as litmus tests July 17 2004
Another film that brings out the moral venality in Amazon "reviewers". I particularly love the one who was "forced" to watch it in a friend's film class & found it a "waist" of time. Let's see...the waist is where things ingested pass through on their way to the digestion process. But I doubt he was being that profound.
Then there are the ones who find the film dated, London too empty & the main character a horrible nasty. Well folks, it's true there are no friendly wizards, cute goblins or funny ogres in this one, so it may taste like harsh medicine to some. But Blow-Up was a real slice of the 1960s, take it or leave it. Not just the "life-style" (clothes, decor & behavior) which is perfectly rendered (& is probably what dates the film the most) but the sheer fragmentation of time & space, of event & response. This was Antonioni's particular area of expertise: space & emptiness filled with random human collisions supposedly suffused with "meaning".
Well, we certainly have adopted different attitudes today, haven't we? Everything with its socio-political subtext. The big problem, I think, with a movie like Blow-Up is that it doesn't easily let you pick which Side to Be On. It's very European in that way (Old Europe, to use current parlance).
Hey folks, when you look at a De Chirico (you should, you know), do you find the streets too empty, the perspectives too stark & arbitrary?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blow-Up main audio is sadly very poor quality June 28 2004
The film may look good - but you've got to be able to hear it to enjoy it.
The main audio only comes from the center speaker (the only DVD I own that does this) and is incredibly low in volume. Even when you crank your amp up to near maximum to hear it, you'll find that sole center signal sounds suspiciously like it's meant to be part of at least a 2.1 soundtrack. It completely lacks bass and the music has no presence.
I've seen Blow-Up on the big screen in recent years, I know it can sound as good as it looks. Someone at Warners has made a big blunder in mastering this DVD. In its present format it's not worth buying or owning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
"Blow Up" was a sensation when it was released in 1966. Critics and moviegoers hotly debated its enigmatic story. Three and a half decades later, its meaning is no clearer. I have seen it several times, and I remain clueless. The movie has fallen into relative obscurity, and, so, the few people I've met who have seen it have been unable to offer any satisfactory insights. If you are looking for pop entertainment, you certainly want to avoid this one because the plot is so puzzling.
Why, you may ask, do I rank it so highly? It's because it is one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen. Every single shot is composed with the utmost care. The framing is amazing. The colors are beautiful. The sound, too, is meticulously constructed. Although the sound technology back then was primitive compared to today's, the movie manages to make background noises very much a part of the whole.
The story revolves around a bored but brilliant London photographer, played by David Hemmings. He is a genius at his craft, but his life is an empty place. One day he wanders into a lovely park, where he spies two lovers. He follows them and photographs them. The girl [Vanessa Redgrave] sees him and demands he give her the film. He refuses. When he develops the photos, he sees a blurred image, which, when blown up, looks like it might be a body. He also blows up an images that looks like a hand holding a gun. He has accidentally photographed a murder. Or has he? The girl finds his studio. She seduces him. He pretends to give her the negatives, but later finds his studio has been vandalized. By the girl? By an accomplice? And for what reason? Who will believe him? Or is there anything to believe? It's left to the viewer to supply the answers.
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By Far2Go
As though I were Thomas, the protagonist of the piece, only fragments and minute visual clues capered through my subconscious for 38 years. I saw BLOW UP its U.S. release in 1966. I was 15 years old then and I'd not since BLOW UP since. Not until acquiring this DVD, which is an outstanding presentation with superb video and audio specs. I've only heard 15 minutes of the commentary track thus far, but it promises to be a worthy analysis of this intricate cipher of a film.
I won't offer my analysis here as it's a film that demands its own unique relationship with the viewer. Suffice it to say that both the teenager and the middle-aged man in me still find this masterwork utterly fascinating. I vividly recall patrons walking out of the theater in 1966 chuckling over the film's enigmas: "What the hell was that?" was the common utterance.
In the case of BLOW UP it is the questions asked and not a futile fumble for logic that holds me today and well as it did 38 years ago. See this one. If you "don't get it" then just give it a decade or two...
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Films of All Times! June 3 2004
This may be the most emblematic movie to come out of the 1960's.
It reduces everything we associate with the Psychedelic 60's...
consciousness expansion, the individualism,
the flamboyance, the hedonism and the self-indulgence... to a single philosophical question: "What is Reality?" and answers it with a resounding: "Who knows?"
David Hemmings plays a successful fashion photographer in "swinging 60's London" by day, who moonlights as an "artiste" in his off-hours. His fashion photography is done in color, his artistic work in black-and-white. One of Antonioni's key themes
is the contrast of the stark, unforgiving play of light and shadow in black and white film with the vivid garishness of color. One day, while shooting off a roll of film in Greene Park, Thomas, our photographer, follows the path of two lovers,
seemingly engaged in an illicit affair. When he develops the pictures and blows them up, he discovers what looks suspiciously like a murder. These suspicions are only exagerrated when the girl in the pictures (Vanessa Redgrave) shows up at his door and tries to seduce him out of the roll of film. Needless to say,
nothing proves to be exactly as it seems. The continuous frustration of expectations, the denial of human responsibility and compassion were, unfortunately, what the 60's came to be all about.
From the rollicking, partying mimes who open and close the picture, to the snake-like seductiveness of Verushka in her photo
shoot, to Yardbirds' guitarist Jeff Beck destroying his guitar in an angry fit near the picture's end, there's a surrealism to everything that's vertiginous. This movie just continually makes your head spin!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Trip to '60s Mod London
The core story is of a photographer (played by David Hemmings) who captures a woman and man embracing in a park - the man ends up dead, and the negatives of the photographer's... Read more
Published 8 months ago by ROBERT MAXWELL
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking ending for the main character.
I saw this fascinating Antonioni film back in the mid-sixties when it first came out. Aside from the frustrating ending, many aspiring photographers wanted the perks of his... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Robert Asgeirsson
4.0 out of 5 stars Heresy! - Not my favorite Antononi,
A film I appreciated and enjoyed more on a second viewing. But, while it's clear how influential it was on other film-makers, for me it feels more dated and awkward than... Read more
Published on May 13 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Soundtrack review
This is one of those films in which every detail contributes to the total effect, and contributes more on repeated viewings. Read more
Published on April 15 2011 by Gary Fuhrman
5.0 out of 5 stars A labyrinth of realities...
Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow-Up" features David Hemmings as the photographer. This film follows the photographer into a park where he takes photos of a couple embracing and... Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2010 by Edmonson
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING - DEFECTIVE AUDIO
Published on July 18 2004 by W. Mankin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Antonioni step
A phothographer (David Heminngs) gets a slapshot and he believes there's a murder in that picture.
The reality is elusive , and watch about your senses seem to reveal you . Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
1.0 out of 5 stars Good example of how NOT to make movies
A fashion photographer discovers a crime. So what??? Big Deal!!!
The action is slow, boring and unrealistic. Read more
Published on July 14 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual movie about a murder that was photographed
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Format: ColorStudio: Turner Home Video
Video Release Date: June 24, 2002
Vanessa Redgrave ... Jane
Sarah Miles ... Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by Joseph H Pierre
4.0 out of 5 stars Abstracts and Innuendos
A difficult movie for the casual viewer, due to the eclectic mix of images and events, all with hidden meanings and social commentary. Read more
Published on June 9 2004 by Amanda Richards
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