banner image

:: La Notte

La Notte is one of the great films made by Italian director Michaelangelo Antonioni. It is a stand-out in the new wave genre of the early 1960s. It follows a story of a failing marriage and the rise of industrialisation in Italy.

Wandering through dilapidated streets of Milan, stopping and staring aimlessly out at the world, is the striking Lydia (Jeanne Moreau). Her husband, Giovanni (Marcello Mastroianni), is a handsome man and a popular author whose newest publication is being celebrated with a signing session. Later that night, when Lydia finally decides to come home, she is unresponsive to Giovanni, and acts bored and aloof.

Giovanni takes Lydia out on the town - to a nightclub where they watch African dancers perform acrobatic cabaret acts with full wine glasses - but still she is bored, so he takes her on to a friend's elegant cocktail party, where they both stay all night, drifting from one flirtation to the next, uninterested in each other. An emotional and inconclusive conversation between the couple ends out the night as the sun rises, leaving viewers with a strange, vacant, longing feeling.

Whatever one's occasional misgivings, this feature comes from what is widely considered to be Antonioni's richest period, and evidence of his stunning mastery is apparent. German director Bernhard Wicki plays the couple's dying friend.

In Italian with subtitles.

DVD Extras

Michelangelo Antonioni: A Portrait - 55 mins doco
Audio commentary by Rolando Caputo, cinema lecturer at Latrone University, Melbourne
Theatrical trailer
Umbrella trailers