Michelangelo Antonioni dies

Analysis

Michelangelo Antonioni, one of the most innovative and distinctive film-makers of the 20th century, has died at the age of 94.

Antonioni, the Italian film director who explored modern alienation and the enigma of human relationships, has died. Fans will be able to pay their respects when Antonioni's body lies in state in the Sala della Protomoteca at Rome's city hall, the Campidoglio, on Wednesday morning.

Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni announced a public viewing of Antonioni's body tomorrow at City Hall, according to a written statement. He gained two Oscar nominations for the iconic release, and was awarded an honorary Academy Award for his life's work in 1995.

He was also nominated for the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d'Or, five times between 1960 and 1982. The director died peacefully at home on Monday night, his wife, actress Enrica Fico, told La Repubblica newspaper. Richard Mowe, a film writer and co-director of the Italian Film Festival UK, said Antonioni made productions "that were out of the conventional modes of expression".

The filmmaker died Monday night at his home, Ansa reported earlier, citing unidentified family members. In milestone movies like 1966's English-language „Blow-Up” Antonioni's work offered the audience time to contemplate interior struggles through psychology and symbolism rather than action. When the director's classic „L'Avventura was presented at Cannes in 1960 it greeted with jeers.

„Antonioni changed the narrative structure of telling a story,” said Chiara Caselli, who acted in „Beyond the Clouds” (1995) in an interview. „In the history of Italian cinema, Antonioni with always be there.” Born into a middle-class family in September 29, 1912 in Ferrara, Italy, Antonioni attended the University of Bologna where he studied classics and economics. As a college student, he wrote film reviews for a local paper, often angering the country's film industry with barbed attacks on Italian comedies.

His attempts at documentary filmmaking ended in failure. When he tried to film an insane asylum, his subjects became hysterical every time the camera turned on them, forcing him to call off the production. Antonioni continued to write about film in Rome, where he worked for Cinema, the official Fascist magazine dedicated to movies and edited by Vittorio Mussolini, son of the Italian dictator.

A political disagreement prompted his dismissal. He opted to study filmmaking at the Centro Sperimentale. In 1985, the director suffered a stroke that left him partially paralysed, but he continued to work behind the camera. "Filming for me is living," he said. His last cinematic release was 2004's The Dangerous Thread of Things, one part of a trilogy of short films released under the title Eros.

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