Book Vs. Movie: Blow-Up
The Julio Cortazar Short Story Vs. the Michelangelo Antonio Movie
The Margos are feeling very mod today with this particular episode. We talk about Michelangelo Antonini, one of the most revered directors of the 1960s & 1970s, with a Palm d’Or, the Golden Lion, the Golden Bread, and the Golden Leopard among his film accomplishments. 1966’s Blow-Up is his biggest English language hit, and it captured the New Wave movement in modern filmmaking.
The original story is from Julio Cortazar in a short story titled “Las Babas del Diablo,” written in 1959. The symbolism-heavy story is told with several unreliable narrators and the artist’s relationship to their medium. Our protagonist is Roberto, a French-Chilean translator who loves photography and may or may not be connected to reality. He remembers watching a middle-aged woman in a park with a teenage boy. Is she procuring him for an older man? Roberto takes photographs and obsesses over the crime about to happen.
The 1966 film (Antonioni’s first English-speaking production) follows Thomas (David Hemmings,) a fashion photographer in demand who obsesses over antiques and modernism. The movie also stars Vanessa Redgrave as a woman being photographed by Thomas in a clinch with an older man. She tries to seduce the roll of film from him after following him home. But he keeps the original and discovers, after blowing up the negatives) that he might have uncovered a murder.
Thomas travels through underground London (via The Yardbirds) and the pastoral field, seeking the truth.
So between the short story and movie–which did the Margos like better?
In this ep, the Margos discuss:
- The bios of Antonioni & Cortazar
- The mod movement of the 1960s London.
- The cast of the 1966 film: David Hemmings (Thomas,) Vanessa Redgrave (Jane,) Sarah Miles (Patricia,) John Castle (Bill,) Jane Birkin (the Blonde,) Gillian Hillis (the Brunette,) Peter Bowles (Ron,) Veruschka von Lehndorff (herself,) Jimmy Page (The Yardbirds,) Jeff Beck (The Yardbirds) and Keith Relf vocalist for The Yardbirds
- Vanessa Redgrave and David Hemmings
- Blow-Up (1966 trailer)
- Thomas directs models
- Thomas instructs Jane to move against the beat
- The Yardbirds in Blow-Up
- Jane Birkin models
- Music: Blow-Up soundtrack, Herbert Hancock
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