….Blow-Up may feel unresolved but it isn’t incomplete. The film is a fascinating capsule of ’60s London (it includes a live performance from the Yardbirds), an enigmatic art house film, and an interesting cinematic experience for a photographer. It ends with Thomas watching mimes playing tennis. If that isn’t thought-provoking enough for a cinephile, I’d be hard-pressed to think of anything better.
The Criterion Collection has included some great extras on the Blu-ray disc (details below). The highlight might be Blow Up of Blow-Up, a new 52 minute documentary by Valentina Agostinis covering the film. This mini-doc includes interviews from many involved in the production and gives more context around the film’s location and era. There are also interviews with the key actors, two older pieces with Hemmings (~26 minutes total) and a 44-minute talk from 2016 (“In Conversation” with Philippe Garner) with Redgrave. Garner appears again in a critical featurette “Antonioni’s Hypnotic Vision” (~46 mins) which gives a really great exposition on the elements of photography and its influence on the film.
Disc Features: (via Criterion)
- New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New pieces about director Michelangelo Antonioni’s artistic approach, featuring photography curators Walter Moser and Philippe Garner and art historian David Alan Mellor
- Blow Up of “Blow Up,” a 2016 documentary on the making of the film
- Conversation from 2016 between Garner and actor Vanessa Redgrave
- Archival interviews with Antonioni and actors David Hemmings and Jane Birkin
- PLUS: A book featuring an essay by film scholar David Forgacs, an updated 1966 account of the film’s shooting by Stig Björkman, the questionnaires the director distributed to photographers and painters while developing the film, and the 1959 Julio Cortázar short story on which the film is loosely based
- New cover by Rodrigo Corral