Cinema: The Void Between

"I would never make a film outside Italy," Federico Fellini said recently. "I would be an alien, unable to understand the subtle shadings of character and gesture. I would be like a tree uprooted, unhealthy out of its own soil." It is canny advice that should have been heeded by the maestro's peer and countryman, Michelangelo Antonioni, whose movies seem to deteriorate in direct proportion to the distance they are made from home.

Blow-Up, that slick portrayal of swinging London, was pure frippery compared with such masterpieces as L'Avventura and La Notte. Zabriskie...

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