Modernist Master: Michelangelo Antonioni

I Vinti

The Vanquished

Michelangelo AntonioniItaly / France113 minutes1953PGB&WItalian English French

Jun 16
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See it now or never: I Vinti is the rarest of Antonioni's features, and consequently the most neglected (the director often expressed frustration that it did not receive the analysis it deserved). Made for a Catholic production company, which intended it as a dire commentary on the amoral state of postwar European youth (the original English title was Youth and Perversion), the film transforms conventional social document into stylistic experiment with its three-part structure. Part One focuses on a group of Parisian teenagers on an outing, one of whom pretends to be a racketeer and is murdered for his money; shifting to Rome, the middle episode centres on the son of a rich family who becomes involved in a contraband ring; the concluding chapter, which foreshadows Antonioni's fascination with London in Blow-Up, is a Hitchcockian portrait of a would-be poet who decides to become famous by murdering a woman. "[I Vinti] remains a major experiment in narration, for Antonioni, and for the cinema" (Sam Rohdie).