Michelangelo Antonionni’s “La Notte”

For me, this film was difficult to watch because of the overall depressing mood of the story. The black and white filming and portrayal of scenes through glass (i.e. When Lydia is looking out into the party) contribute to the overall mood. The last scene does a really good job, in my opinion, of depicting the feelings of Giovanni and Lidia is at the end.

The scene starts with Lidia and Giovanni walking in the golf course. In a wide shot, Lidia tells Giovanni about Tommaso’s death.

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Next, a tracking shot that tracks Lydia and zooms in on her as she is walking away from Giovanni reveals that Lidia did not like Giovanni the way that she like Tommaso. Lidia discusses how much Tommaso was there for her and helped her. She contrasts this with Giovanni who did nothing for her. Also shown with this is a medium close up of Giovanni as he responds to Lidia.

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Later, Lidia moves to the trees in a medium close up. Here, she is trying to distance herself from Giovanni as she tells him that she does not love him anymore. She also pulls the tree branch in front of her as a way to create a barrier between him and her.

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Giovanni and Lidia then sit down at the sand trap. Most of the medium close-ups here are showing their backs, but occasionally the camera will switch to depict their faces.

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It is here where Giovanni tells Lidia that he loves her and then Lidia reads a letter that he wrote to here. Light and mello music is playing during this scene, contributing to the mood. She reads the letter to him and his reaction is mello and sad. One of my favorite parts of the film is where he asks who wrote the letter. It shows how distant the two have become and how each no longer sees the same thing in each other. Even if Giovanni says that he still loves her, the love is not the same as it once was. This is evident when he starts to kiss her and she does not want to be kissed. He never really respected her in the same way that Tommaso did and even though he recognized that he never gave anything to her, he does not make an effort to change that. Here, two medium close-ups are used to depict this scene.

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The camera zooms out and cuts away to the golf course. A soft saxophone can be heard in the background.

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This scene shows how the characters are unhappy and distant, however, they seem to crave at least a physical relationship. I would have liked to see Lidia get up and leave Giovanni, but the fact that she stays and presumably has sex with him shows her vulnerability and her lack of bravery. The black and white shots, mello music, dark clothing, and slower pace all contribute to the mood and message of the film.By creating a slower paced movie, especially this scene in particular, Antionionni is showing the audience how each character feels. Since is is an uncomfortable moment for the couple, the longer pace allows the audience to feel the unpleasant tension. I doubt a movie would be made like this today because the pace of films, even mellower are much faster and contain more drama to hook people.

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