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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 12. 1967.

Benson Trying to foist preconseptions—Boyes

Benson Trying to foist preconseptions—Boyes

Sirs,—Mr. Benson's interesting review of Blow Up makes several good points, and is an honest presentation of his reaction to this intensely personal film.

I am pleased to see him puncture this myth about Sarah Miles being Hemmings's wife in the film; and I quite agree that much of the criticism has been carried out in terms of people's preconceptions of what Antonioni is after.

However, I feel Mr. Benson is guilty of foisting his preconceptions on us with reference to his confusion of Antonioni and Fellini, two distinct and very different film makers. I have only seen La Notte and Blow Up of Antonioni, and four Fellini films; but there seems to be nothing in common between the two. Both seem to deal with the world they know, and this has often included artists, writers, etc. But to claim that this "reeks of intellectual snobbery" can only be seen as inverted snobbery —and to drag Bergman into this picture is to confuse the whole issue.

Fellini is pre-eminently a man of life — his films are bursting with life. La Dolce Vita is a down-beat presentation — but still with much humour, and a great deal of 'cinematic inventiveness — 8 1/2 is one of the funniest films of all time, a landmark in film (history for its technical brilliance and its presentation of humanity. To compare these films with Antonioni's coldness, is to misinterpret the essence of both, men's films.

I found Blow Up easier to take than La Notte. because the coldness — admittedly present — is not so constantly reinforced by the dialogue, and the character's behaviour seems much more credible. I could wish that in Mr. Benson's search for "the implications of this detachment," he had tried to make some distinctions a little more clearly.

Peter Boyes.