Dr. Laura Rascaroli's lecture and discussion. In conversation with Dr. Giuliana Pieri.
A study day devoted to the late Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) took place on Friday, 26 October,
in Egham, co-sponsored by HARC, SMLLC, Media Arts, and the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, and co-organised by Prof. Giuliana Pieri, Eleonora Raspi (PhD candidate) and Prof. James Williams.
The centenary of the birth of this master of European modernist cinema was a chance to bring together
a number of scholars and curators who have a particular interest in the interdisciplinary aspects of
Antonioni’s oeuvre. Dr Laura Rascaroli (U. of Cork) and Dr John David Rhodes (U. of Sussex), who
edited the 2011 volume, Antonioni: Centenary Essays, offered a novel perspective on the work of
the Italian film-maker by focusing on the influence of art and architecture respectively. The two talks
were preceded by a screening of two rare Antonioni documentaries: Gente del Po (1943-7) and Lo
Sguardo di Michelangelo (2004). Documentaries are a very important but often less studied aspect of
Antonioni’s production. They also ideally frame his career since Antonioni began as a documentary
film maker and ended his cinematic career with his tribute to the master of the Italian Renaissance,
Michelangelo Buonarroti, in a short film of extreme beauty which helped the audience to reflect upon
art and tradition. The general discussion that followed covered a number of fascinating topics relating
to Antonioni’s practice, including his consistently ‘open’, physical engagement with the human figure,
as compared, for example, with that of Jean-Luc Godard.