(why can’t we cut-text on photo posts, tumblr? why? why do you make our time here so CONSTANTLY MISERABLE? :(((( )
The first time I saw this film, hahhaa, I was so relieved that its plot didn’t abruptly walk off a small Mediterranean island that it overshadowed the film. I can’t tell you how much my initial reaction to Blow Up was just YES, THANK YOU FOR AT LEAST WAITING TIL THE END FOR YOUR PLOT TO POINTEDLY NOT RESOLVE ITSELF IN ANY WAY! like I was, genuinely, almost overcome with physical relief.
which says, I guess, that ever since I first, in utter and complete bafflement, watched L’Avventura years ago, I’ve been desperately waiting for the plot to be resolved. It’s the biggest unresolved dominant seventh in film history, pretty much? and what I kept doing for ages was banging my head against L’Avventura trying to make myself get it, like it, cope with it, and its addictive mysteries, before I would watch La Notte or L’Eclisse. Which absolutely did not work and I am an idiot for thinking it would. But then, in the middle of not having successfully watched a version of L’Avventura where the plot resolves, and not having successfully watched either La Notte or L’Eclisse, I watched Blow Up, and I was like THANK YOU JESUS STUFF HAPPENS AND PLOT SORT OF HAPPENS AND THERE ARE THINGS AND FINALLY I CAN MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE.
So rewatching Blow Up again, a while after all of that, is just. WOW, HEY, I LOVE THIS A LOT, who knew? Now that I am not watching it hoping for the resolution of my cadential 5-7, but as a masterpiece in its own right, I can’t watch it hard enough. It’s so beautiful and every shot is perfection and I’ve stopped and rewatched every scene about three times over.
Cathy and I once had a discussion about Gatsby and Brideshead in short succession where we concluded that the arc of all the “greatest” Western literature was basically just all about hipsters, or the sociohistorical equivalent of the hipster—the person, whoever they are, unable to buy into the dominant paradigms or beliefs of their culture/era/society, and so thrust outside of it and forced into a desperate, often nihilistic, search for meaning while also commenting, with or without awareness, on the desperate quest for meaning happening all around them. It was quite revealing to me, because that more or less does sum up most of the western literature I’ve ever read; and as I’ve been making my way through all the European classics of the Sight & Sound list, I’ve come back to it again and again, because that’s just it, isn’t it? Godard, Truffaut, Antonioni, Fellini, Bresson, even Renoir and Rossellini and Bertolucci and Carné and (maybe basically everybody but Bergman and Bunuel (and don’t let’s get started on Bunuel) or, like, Visconti? IDK i haven’t seen enough Visconti), always to some extent or other it’s like, look at my poor, disaffected, cynical, meaningless, often-privileged Europeany lives. I’ve found that both extremely sensible as an overall theme and also extremely hard to relate to or sum up much enthusiasm for.
And so I don’t understand why even with all David Hemming’s jerkface behavior, with all his cynical hipster Europeanness, I care about his fate and I’m so into the story of Blow Up. I don’t understand why I’m so ready to forgive its lack of resolution, and I’m so emotionally effected by this film about hipsters accidentally experiencing something emotionally affecting. Maybe it’s that all joking aside, we’re all hipsters, and we’re all searching for moments as real as the last scene of this film. UGH. I feel dirty just typing out a sentence that sincere.