Maria SchneiderThe Passenger
(Professione: Reporter)
Italy/France/Spain 1975. Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre, Ian Hendry, Steven Berkoff

Date and Venue 5 May 6.45pm |Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

When I see Antonioni’s films now, I don't find them as innovative as they were in the 70s, obviously because many better filmmakers came after him. The Passenger and films of this nature at one time delved into areas dealing with the search for meaning, the subjective nature of reality, and the illusory nature of appearances which in today's world of cinema are considered passe.

Even Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris (May 5, 9.05pm & May 6, 6.45pm) where Maria Schneider has annal sex with Marlon Brando using butter as a lubricant was a shocker in the 70s but now, with XXX porno films, and even films with a lot of sex and nudity classfied as R are commonplace in today's commercial theatres.

.Antonioni's film, I found, was not only passe, but poorly done, from a techincal point of view. The sound is bad, the long shots at the end were vague and hard to comprehend, and he leaves it to the audience to decide whether Nicholson died or not, at the end. Too much expectation from an audience.

At any rate, despite the poorly directed film, the subject matter is interesting: Nicholson stars as David Locke, a world-weary reporter who takes on a dead man’s identity to discover what’s on ‘the other side of the window. And naturally, his life gets complicated until his final demise. Colour, 35mm. 126 mins.

© 2011 Ed Farolan