Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966, UK-Italy-USA, 111′, Certificate: 15*
(*Please note: although the DVD certificate is 15, the film’s previous certification was “X” and it therefore may not be suitable for persons under 18)

The iconic “Swinging Sixties” film about a successful London fashion photographer who finds something really suspicious in the shots of his mysterious new muse, is the first English-language cinematic venture of the legendary Italian film director, Michelangelo Antonioni. Based on a short story by Julio Cortazar and the main character loosely inspired by the two ultimate British “mod” photographers of the 60s generation, David Bailey and Terence Donovan (although the photographs in the film were taken by another British great, Don McCullin), “Blow-Up” is an impossibly stylish, highly erotic, crime-mystery film bordering the thriller genre, starring David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles and Jane Birkin and featuring a very rare music performance by The Yardbirds, at the short period of time when both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were band members. Palm d’Or winner at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for two Oscars (Best Director and Best Screenplay), you simply cannot get any more “Swingin’ 60s London” than this!

The screening is presented in collaboration with Sydenham Arts’ major photography project: “Sydenham: Lens 2016-2017” (http://sydenhamarts.co.uk/whats-on/sydenham-lens/)

Where: The Sydenham Centre, 44A Sydenham Road, SE26 5QF
When: 7.30pm Thursday 2nd March
Tickets: £5 on the door/free to SFC members

“This is a fascinating picture, which has something real to say about the matter of personal involvement and emotional commitment in a jazzed-up, media-hooked-in world so cluttered with synthetic stimulations that natural feelings are overwhelmed. It is vintage Antonioni fortified with a Hitchcock twist, and it is beautifully photographed in color.” Bosley Crowther (19/12/1966), www.nytimes.com

☆☆☆☆ “Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Blow-Up” opened in America two months before I became a film critic, and colored my first years on the job with its lingering influence.” Roger Ebert, www.rogerebert.com

“…this is so ravishing to look at (the colors all seem newly minted) and pleasurable to follow (the enigmas are usually more teasing than worrying) that you’re likely to excuse the metaphysical pretensions—which become prevalent only at the very end—and go with the 60s flow, just as the original audiences did.” Jonathan Rosenbaum, www.chicagoreader.com

☆☆☆☆ “Antonioni creates a film that questions the politics of its protagonist and, at the same time, challenges the way we watch movies. In many ways, this is the best film ever made about movies, because Antonioni recognizes the fragile nature of celluloid and the need to preserve great images.” Ed Gonzalez, www.slantmagazine.com