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The man upstairs must need directors for a new version of "Oh, God." On the day after Ingmar Bergman died, the great Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni met the spirit in the sky as well. As The Film Professor said to me early this morning, "If I were Godard, I'd be pretty ****** scared right now."
Says The New York Times, the "Italian director whose chilly canticles of alienation were cornerstones of international filmmaking in the 1960s, inspiring intense measures of admiration, denunciation and confusion, died on Monday at his home in Rome." Such a sad day: no, a sad two-days.
Hit the jump for a lot more facts about the legend that was Antonioni.
-He actually began as a film journalist for his hometown paper in Ferrara.
-Death inspires Obit writers at the New York Times to wax writerly: "Mr. Antonioni harkens back to a time in the middle of the last century when cinema-going was an intellectual pursuit, when purposely opaque passages in famously difficult films spurred long nights of smoky argument at sidewalk cafes."
-At one point, he had "a collection of arrowheads, knife blades, and other antique weaponry."
-Blow-Up, his best known film starring Sarah Miles and Vanessa Redgrave, showed London in the 1960s as wild, full of sex and drug-ridden escapades. For the time, it was groundbreaking.
-His camera and editing work was utterly new and is still discussed widely in 2007.
-Hollywood took notice and offered big money. But his Hollywood films never were that popular.
-The soundtrack for his Zabriskie Point including tunes from Pink Floyd, the Dead and the Rolling Stones.
-The Passenger, starring Jack Nicholson, was unavailable for a time until it was released on DVD two years ago.