Michelangelo Antonioni, Cavaliere di Gran Croce

Michelangelo
Antonioni, Cavaliere di Gran Croce
1912
2007

Italian Modernist Film Director, Screenwriter, Editor and Short Story Writer

Author Quotes

Everything depends on what you put in front of the camera, what perspectives you create, contrasts, colors. The cameraman can do great things, provided he is well grounded technically. If a person hasn't the raw material, I obviously couldn't do anything with him. But all I ask of a cameraman is technical experience. Everything else is up to me. I was amazed to find that in America cameramen are surprised that this is the way I work.

In Blow-up I used my head instinctively!

When a scene is being shot, it is very difficult to know what one wants it to say, and even if one does know, there is always a difference between what one has in mind and the result on film. I never think ahead of the shot I'm going to make the following day because if I did, I'd only produce a bad imitation of the original image in my mind. So what you see on the screen doesn't represent my exact meaning, but only my possibilities of expression, with all the limitations implied in that phrase. Perhaps the scene reveals my incapacity to do better; perhaps I felt subconsciously ironic toward it. But it is on film; the rest is up to you.

For me, from the moment when the first, still unformed, idea comes into my head until the projection of the rushes, the process of making a film constitutes a single piece of work. I mean that I cannot become interested in anything, day or night, which is not that film. Let no one imagine that this is a romantic pose ? on the contrary. I become relatively more lucid, more attentive, and almost feel as if I were intelligent and more ready to understand.

Is it important to show why a character is what he is? No. He is. That's all.

When a scene is being shot, it is very difficult to know what one wants it to say, and even if one does know, there is always a difference between what one has in mind and the result on film.

Hollywood is like being nowhere and talking to nobody about nothing.

It's very difficult to explain what I do. It is much more instinctive than you realize; much, much more. ... the reasons that make me interested in a subject are, how shall I say, fickle. Many times I have chosen, among three stories, one for reasons that are entirely accidental: I get up and think this one will be stupendous because the night before I had a certain dream. Or perhaps I put it better by saying that I had found inside myself reasons why this particular story seems more valid. ... I always have motives, but I forget them.

When I am shooting a film I never think of how I want to shoot something; I simply shoot it. My technique, which differs from film to film, is wholly instinctive and never based on a priori considerations.

I am neither a sociologist nor a politician. All I can do is imagine for myself what the future will be like.

I've always said that the actor is only an element of the image, rarely the most important. The actor is important with his dialogue, with the landscape, with a gesture ? but the actor in himself is nothing.

When we find ourselves up against practical obstacles that can't be overcome, we must go forward. You either make the film as you can or don't make it at all.

I am not a theoretician of the cinema. If you ask me what directing is, the first answer that comes into my head is: I don't know.

Modern life is very difficult for people who are unprepared. But this new environment will eventually facilitate more realistic relationships between people.

When we say a character in my films doesn't function, we mean he doesn't function as a person, but he does function as a character ? that is, until you take him as a symbol. At that point it is you who are not functioning. Why not simply accept him as a character, without judging him? Accept him for what he is. Accept him as a character in a story, without claiming that he derives or acquires meaning from that story. There may be meanings, but they are different for all of us.

I began taking liberties a long time ago; now it is standard practice for most directors to ignore the rules.

My characters are ambiguous. Call them that. I don't mind. I am ambiguous myself. Who isn't?

You know what I would like to do: make a film with actors standing in empty space so that the spectator would have to imagine the background of the characters.

I don't want what I am saying to sound like a prophecy or anything like an analysis of modern society... these are only feelings I have, and I am the least speculative man on earth.

Normally, however, I try to avoid repetitions of any shot.

You must be painter who takes a canvas and does what he likes with it. We are more like painters in past centuries who were ordered to paint frescoes to specific measurements. Among the people in the fresco may be a bishop, the prince's wife, etc. The fresco isn't bad simply because the painter used for models people from the court of the prince who ordered and paid for it.

I find that it is very useful to look over the location and to feel out the atmosphere while waiting for the actors. It may happen that the images before my eyes coincide with those I had in my mind, but this is not frequently the case. It more often happens that there is something insincere or artificial about the image one has thought of. Here again is another way of improvising.

One doesn't enter groups of people simply because one wants or needs to. One has an infinite number of opportunities that occur for no particular reason. Sometimes you feel a sudden unexpected pleasure at being where you find yourself.

You mustn't ask me to explain everything I do. I can't. That's that. How can I say why at a certain moment I needed this. How can I explain why I needed a confusion of colors?

I have always imposed my wishes on the cameraman. Moreover, I have always picked them at the outset of their careers and, to a certain extent, have formed them myself.

Author Picture
First Name
Michelangelo
Last Name
Antonioni, Cavaliere di Gran Croce
Birth Date
1912
Death Date
2007
Bio

Italian Modernist Film Director, Screenwriter, Editor and Short Story Writer