A few reflections with Professor Dominique Païni. Translation in English by Alix Agret.
The second part of the study day is a lecture by film scholar and curator, Professor Dominique Païni
(École du Louvre, Paris), who presented with slides his plans for the forthcoming centenary exhibition
on Antonioni in his home-town of Ferrara. Prof. Païni revealed that the physical challenge of the
exhibition space, the Renaissance Palazzo dei Diamanti, created the opportunity to present Antonioni’s
work as a series of contrasts arising from the idea that cinema is, after all, narrative sculpture in
movement, and that shapes are born out of the most basic contrast, that of light and dark. Both the
lecture and ensuing discussion brought into focus a series of important characteristics of the work of
Antonioni: the identification of women and the nation, ideal masculinity and Italian art and tradition,
the critique of humanism and the classical heritage, and the ambiguous relationship between Antonioni
and Italy’s post-war tradition of social and political engagement (impegno) which characterised the
work of many of his contemporaries working in film and literature.
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