Il deserto rosso 1964 - Director: Michelangelo Antonioni Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti, Xenia Valderi, Rita Renoir, Lili Rheims
RED DESERT (IL DESERTO ROSSO) is a post-industrialist masterpiece from director Michelangelo Antonioni. His first film in colour, it stars Monica Vitti as Giuliana, the disturbed wife of a factory owner, Ugo (Carlo Chionetti). Antonioni creates a bleak environment of the Italian countryside, where the natural landscape surrounding Ugo's factory is shrouded in fog and pollution. The low scratching and churning sound of the factory machines is a constant throughout the film, set off by the electronic beeps and strange female singing that Giuliana--who is losing her mind--hears in her head. Supposedly recovering from shock after a minor car accident, Giuliana's dementia isn't getting any better; new developments in technology, production, and industry--which fascinate Ugo and his business associate, Corrado (Richard Harris)--are foreign and threatening to Giuliana. However, Ugo is gentle and loving to Giuliana, giving her the freedom to wander wherever her fragile psyche leads her. Corrado is inexplicably drawn to Giuliana and he develops a desperate, awkward friendship with her that eventually leads to a small affair. In the end, the dank monotony of the port where they live only alienates Giuliana further, sending her deeper into her delirium. A cold and haunting film with grating sound effects and odd visuals that illustrate Giuliana's psychosis, RED DESERT is an Antonioni standout that stays in the viewer's mind long after the movie ends.