Teatro Auditorium Manzoni > 14:30


Michelangelo Antonioni
Introduced by

Alberto Barbera (director of the Venice Film Festival)


Tuesday 25/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Neorealism had taught us to follow the characters with the camera, and Bicycle Thieves was a great film, where the camera always remained external to the characters. But I was tired of this; I could no longer stand real time. I started reasoning from another standpoint. It seemed to me more important to concentrate on the characters, to go inside them, to see what, of all the things that had happened: the war, the period after the war, the things that were still happening, what, of all this, had left a mark inside them. I don’t mean psychological transformations or changes to their feelings specifically, but the symptoms of this evolution and where the changes were starting to take form, the evolution of their psychology and their feelings, and perhaps their morality too. Cronaca di un amore is the intimate chronicle of a love story in two parts: it sounds the souls of two people. I analysed the state of spiritual dryness and the moral coldness so characteristic of some parts of the Milanese bourgeoisie precisely because I thought that in their lack of interest in anything other than themselves, in their total egotism, with no precise moral counterpoint minimally able to make them understand the validity of certain values, there might, In this inner emptiness, be material important enough to study. So this seemed to be the right direction to go at that time. […] With Cronaca di un amore, I didn’t start out with a precise theory. I just wanted to break away from a syntax that I felt was now old hat. I had long found the classic shot and reverse shot routine unbearable, and in this, my first film, I largely abandoned them, preferring to use very long movements instead. As I was moving the camera in all directions, but having to stay with the characters all the time, both in the wide shots and closer to, I had to use telephoto lenses that wouldn’t let me get too close to the characters, so close-ups were impossible. In truth, I didn’t really need them, largely because the actors’ body language, their way of moving and walking or looking, takes the place of the close-up.  The same can be said for the ‘content’. The story began as that of two characters; I didn’t start out with the idea of critiquing a social class. I tried to look as deeply into the characters as possible. […] The social milieu always remains in the background, and I think this is what distinguishes Cronaca di un amore from other Italian neorealist films, where the social setting is always in the foreground and the characters are simply a pretext for illustrating it.

Michelangelo Antonioni, My Antonioni, edited by Carlo Di Carlo, Edizioni Cineteca di Bologna, Bologna 2017

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Michelangelo Antonioni. Scen.: Michelangelo Antonioni, Daniele D’Anza, Silvio Giovannetti, Francesco Maselli, Piero Tellini. F.: Enzo Serafin. M.: Mario Colangeli. Scgf.: Piero Filippone. Mus.: Giovanni Fusco. Int.: Lucia Bosè (Paola Molon), Massimo Girotti (Guido), Ferdinando Sarmi (Enrico Fontana), Gino Rossi (Carloni, il detective), Marika Rowsky (Joy, un’indossatrice), Rosi Mirafiore (la barista), Franco Fabrizi (il presentatore della sfilata), Vittoria Mondello (Matilde). Produzione: Franco Villani e Stefano Caretta per Fincine. Bn.