Giovanni (Marcello Mastroianni), a novelist who feels himself ‘written out’, and Lidia (Jeanne Moreau) seem the perfect married couple. But, while visiting their dying friend Tommaso (Bernhard Wicki) in hospital, it finally hits them there is something very wrong about their relationship. Giovanni, who has lost his desire for his trophy wife, allows himself to be seduced by a young nymphomaniac (Monica Vitti), while Lidia begins to regret not returning Tommaso’s love for her years before…
This sombre, stylistically beautiful film is one of the best works of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni – a haunting dissection of an upper middle-class Italian marriage on the rocks. The director has a remarkable eye in capturing the bitterness and boredom that precede such a break-up, while his cast, made up of the crème de la crème of the European acting world of the period, bring an emotional reality to their flawed characters that draws you in. To top it all, the luminous monochrome photography of metropolitan Milan is by Gianni di Venanzo, who would go on to lens Fellini’s 8 ½ (due out on Blu-ray in November). A favourite among World Cinema aficionados, La Notte was one of Stanley Kubrick’s top 10 favourite films, and was even mentioned in an episode of Mad Men as one of the few things moody ad man Don Draper actually likes.
The Masters of Cinema Series Blu-ray release features a new 1080p presentation of the film in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio with previously censored sequences restored for the first time, new and improved English subtitles, original Italian theatrical trailer, and a collector’s booklet featuring a Q&A transcript from 1961 with the director Antonioni.
Available from Eureka Entertainment