23 November 2011 | treywillwest
A divorced film director has an affair that ends badly and its mostly her fault, then another affair that ends badly and its mostly his fault.
Antonioni's "The Passenger" is probably my favorite film. It's a singular work which manages to have the highest philosophical ambitions without seeming the least pretentious. That's not to say that Antonioni never seems pretentious. He sometimes is very much so, and this is a case in point. I wouldn't describe this as a good movie exactly- it's a bit too self-absorbed, with some lousy dialog and a howlingly funny leading man, who seems like an SNL parody of an Italian leading man. But having said that, it's still vintage Antonioni, and he was a master. For every moment that makes a fan wince, there are others of exceptional compositional beauty: street scenes in which "extras" take on inarticulable metaphysical weight, moments, such as a scene where the protagonist is lost in fog, that seem to depict the invisible. The theme of the film could seem misogynistic, and in a way it is. But really, this film is about the unknowability of the Other, and the way that black hole nonetheless illuminates Being.