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Red Desert (1964)

Il deserto rosso (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 8 February 1965 (USA)
Trailer
1:24 | Trailer
In an industrial area, Giuliana, an unstable woman, attempts to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at the plant her husband manages.
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7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Monica Vitti ... Giuliana
Richard Harris ... Corrado Zeller
Carlo Chionetti Carlo Chionetti ... Ugo
Xenia Valderi ... Linda
Rita Renoir Rita Renoir ... Emilia
Lili Rheims Lili Rheims ... Telescope operator's wife
Aldo Grotti Aldo Grotti ... Max
Valerio Bartoleschi Valerio Bartoleschi ... Valerio - Giuliana's son
Emanuela Pala Carboni Emanuela Pala Carboni ... Girl in fable
Bruno Borghi Bruno Borghi
Beppe Conti Beppe Conti
Giulio Cotignoli Giulio Cotignoli
Giovanni Lolli Giovanni Lolli
Hiram Mino Madonia Hiram Mino Madonia
Giuliano Missirini Giuliano Missirini ... Radio telescope operator
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Storyline

In a bleak rundown industrial area a young woman, Giuliana, tries to cope with life. She's married to Ugo the manager of a local plant but is soon having an affair with one of his co-workers, Corrado Zeller, who is visiting. Giuliana is unstable, not quite knowing anymore just what her role is, whether that be a wife, a mother or just another person. Her escape from life is short-lived however as Zeller is simply using her to satisfy his own needs and desires. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI...his first color film See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | Turkish

Release Date:

8 February 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Desert See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,076
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of three collaborations between Cinematographer Carlo Di Palma and Michelangelo Antonioni. See more »

Quotes

Giuliana: [voiceover: Giuliana is recounting a fable to her son, as a depiction of the fable is shown on screen] There was a girl who lived on an island. Grownups bored her, and frightened her too. She didn't like kids her age. They all pretended to be grownup. So she was always alone, with the cormorants, seagulls, and wild rabbits.
Giuliana: [voiceover continues] She'd discovered a small beach far from town, with crystal-clear water and pink sand. She loved that spot. The colors of nature were so beautiful, and ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

A restored version has been released in 1999, edited by Vincenzo Verzini. See more »

Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Red Desert in gray
26 April 2007 | by andrabemSee all my reviews

"Il Deserto Rosso" should be more known among Antonioni's fans - it's a remarkable film - in the beginning we see a woman (Monica Vitti) with her little son wandering in an industrial landscape.............. She's married to the manager of the factory. She is losing her direction and sinking into panic and despair. Her husband, friends and even her little son are not enough for her to recover her sense of identity. She even tries an affair with a friend of her husband. Still....

Maybe the story in itself would not be sufficient to raise one's interest, but the way Antonioni tells it makes this film an interrogation mark concerning man and modern society. The bleak colors of the landscape mixing with the fog and the smog are a portrait of her (and ours, why not?) loss of points of reference. Reality becomes mixed with dreams but not all of this is shown in the film. Some of it is implied. Some of it is shown - like when Giuliana (Monica Vitti) is with husband and friends by the sea and the fog slowly makes the others' faces look strange and nightmarish.

Giuliana lives near the industrial concern (managed by her husband) - a small town in the vicinity, a solitary sea, a dock and some ships in it, big chimneys expelling smoke and foggy nights & days complete the picture. Memories come and unfold - good and bad - some of them described in her own words, others evoked by images and words that have the taste of a fairy tale. Insanity seems to be knocking at her door and life is so far away. Drifting with the wind and waves of life - if only someone could help her! "Il Deserto Rosso" flows in a natural way - we forget that we are seeing actors and become immersed in the film. Antonioni is a great actor's director and I think he knows how to extract the best from them.

The DVD had a bonus where I watched the interview of Antonioni made immediately after the film's release. For my surprise he showed himself a simple kind of man. He didn't employ big words to define his film and revealed a sense of humor. This was the time during which Antonioni had a relationship with Monica Vitti (a superb actress) and in the few words he used he gave me the keys to his direction technique, that is, to create an ambiance where the actors can feel at ease, let them feel their roles and make them give their best.

Antonioni had their followers in Brazil too. The more remarkable of them was Walter Hugo Khoury that with "Corpo Ardente" (1966) made a Brazilian "deserto rosso" - a good film but far less good than Antonioni's.


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