585 Identification of a Woman

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Drucker
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Re: Gaumont French Releases

#51 Post by Drucker » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:24 am

Bluray.com on Identification of A Woman from Gaumont.

The difference in color from the Criterion release seems to almost mirror the differences between the BFI and Criterion editions of Red Desert.

Robin Davies
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Re: 585 Identification of a Woman

#52 Post by Robin Davies » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:44 pm

The Gaumont release looks excellent.
What a shame the extras have no English subtitles.

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jsteffe
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Re: Gaumont French Releases

#53 Post by jsteffe » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:06 pm

Drucker wrote:Bluray.com on Identification of A Woman from Gaumont.

The difference in color from the Criterion release seems to almost mirror the differences between the BFI and Criterion editions of Red Desert.
To me the differences in color timing look, if anything, more dramatic than the Blu-rays of Red Desert. Does anyone know more about the transfer on which the Criterion Blu-ray was based? They're so different that they can't both be right.

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ellipsis7
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Re: 585 Identification of a Woman

#54 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:59 pm

It's very difficult... Take the scene in the Venice lagoon, it looks so great & exceptionally 'magic hour' on the Criterion, then so very real & finessed on the Gaumont... But then the subsequent scene in the Venice hotel seems so drenched in red/orange on the CC and more gritty and counterpointing blues and browns on the Gaumont.. I'm looking at original French lobby cards and other stills, my judgement is still reserved but have to to tend towards the Gaumont ... I'm thinking that MA was not revisonistically & retrospectively trying to do a Terrence Malick (like the CC) , but I guess the Gaumont could have with done a couple of tweeks warmer in certain scenes... Gaumont for now...
Last edited by ellipsis7 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: 585 Identification of a Woman

#55 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:13 pm

Based on my admittedly decades-old memories of seeing it in 35mm, I too would incline towards the Gaumont.

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Lemmy Caution
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Identification of a Failure

#56 Post by Lemmy Caution » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:37 pm

For me, this rates as one of the worst films in the Wacky C Collection.
Terrible dialogue, stilted acting, iffy production values, a meandering self-indulgent narrative, unappealing characters, a long run time. A real struggle for me to get through.
A few of the old buildings and walls were nice ...

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warren oates
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Re: 585 Identification of a Woman

#57 Post by warren oates » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:40 pm

Minus the "iffy production values," which I can't agree with, you might, in the right (or wrong?) frame of mind, level the same accusations against any of Antonioni's films. I guess I just can't understand why you'd even bother with this one if you weren't already on board with the maestro. I've always liked this film, always felt it was underrated. But I think it does get better with time and repeat viewings too. Watching the Blu-ray with a younger relative recently was my most fruitful viewing experience yet. To me this is a fairly straightforward film about its protagonist, a filmmaker who's in between things and looking for bits of the intrigue and drama in his relationships and everyday life that he can only really find in his art. He's continually playing games with himself, spying on his own quotidian existence as if it's a mystery that he must decode before it's too late, day-dreamily wishing he were like the guys in Blow-up and The Passenger. And the film ends when he stops dicking around and finally commits to a new project.

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: 585 Identification of a Woman

#58 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:05 am

warren oates wrote:I guess I just can't understand why you'd even bother with this one if you weren't already on board with the maestro.
Suckered by the wacky C. Thought I'd try a film I never heard of. Did afterwards promise myself to steer clear of further Antonioni, as I don't care for any of his films.

Some of the editing in ID of a ♀ was clumsy and 80's TV movie quality.

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domino harvey
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Re: Identification of a Failure

#59 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:29 pm

Lemmy Caution wrote:
Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:37 pm
For me, this rates as one of the worst films in the Wacky C Collection.
Terrible dialogue, stilted acting, iffy production values, a meandering self-indulgent narrative, unappealing characters, a long run time. A real struggle for me to get through.
A few of the old buildings and walls were nice ...
Finally saw this and pretty much, though I'm not sure I even can vouch for the buildings. The film director protagonist in this is such an uninteresting asshole and of course multiple women can't help throwing themselves at him. Only sympathetic character in the whole thing was the valet who muttered "Goddamn fucking flowers" upon being tasked with carting director dude's bouquet downstairs. This seems to exist solely for that scene in the fog, but there's fog in Red Desert too

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Mr Sausage
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Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#60 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:23 am

DISCUSSION ENDS MONDAY, November 12th.

Members have a two week period in which to discuss the film before it's moved to its dedicated thread in The Criterion Collection subforum. Please read the Rules and Procedures.

This thread is not spoiler free. This is a discussion thread; you should expect plot points of the individual films under discussion to be discussed openly. See: spoiler rules.

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I encourage members to submit questions, either those designed to elicit discussion and point out interesting things to keep an eye on, or just something you want answered. This will be extremely helpful in getting discussion started. Starting is always the hardest part, all the more so if it's unguided. Questions can be submitted to me via PM.

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domino harvey
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#61 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:48 am

Really curious as to why one of Antonioni's worst films dominated voting. Let's hear defenses from some of these vote-casters!

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knives
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#62 Post by knives » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:30 am

I like the film and I'm not sure if there's much to say to be honest. It's been a while since I've seen it, but if my memory is in full service my preference of it over L'Avventura is that the static nature of the compositions are much more effective in conveying humans alone.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#63 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:03 am

Does anyone have any info as to where this might be available on a streaming service? The youtube copy has been taken down. I suspect filmstruck has it. I saw it on its original release and was disappointed but I'm curious as to how I'd respond today.

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domino harvey
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#64 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:08 am

Better than L'Avventura?

Image

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knives
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#65 Post by knives » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:15 am

Would you expect anything more from me?

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Big Ben
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#66 Post by Big Ben » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:09 pm

I remember thinking at the time how relaxed this film felt even against works like The Passenger. It felt at times like the more insightful things Antonioni had stirring in his mind were replaced by the thoughts of someone readjusting to the world changing yet again. These are the begging of the Reagan years and unrestrained capitalism sure, but mostly it's about Milian trying to connect to a woman he can't have. The film culminates in one of the most bizarre statements I've ever heard conclude a film. Milian's characters waxes "poetic" about how once we understand how the sun works maybe we'll understand how the universe works. It's not exactly a non sequitur but it certainly concludes the film on a "Huh?" note. It felt almost like a parody of an Antonioni film that relied more on visuals than any real coherence but hey at least the film sure looks nice.

You cannot connect Niccolo because the script demands you to offer contrived statements instead!

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olmo
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#67 Post by olmo » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:12 am

I first viewed this film in the mid-eighties as it was shown in the content warning Red Triangle season of films on Channel 4 in the UK. *Simulated cunnilingus and pubic hair constituting 'sexually explicit' in the straightened 80's*

Have to admit that apart from the, now tame sex scenes and *ahem* snatches of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Stanlow & Souvenir on the soundtrack (John Foxx's official score really dates the picture), it didn't hold much attention for the 15 yr old me.

Watched again when buying the blu, it holds a little more for me. A great fogbound sequence, which is genuinely eerie, the faint hope of menace in the warning Niccolò receives in the ice-cream parlour *sp. I'm British*, did we ever find out what was in the tree outside his apartment? Hints that it was surveillance of some sort connected to the watching man below??? A while since I've seen it .

Ultimately it's the Antonioni trope of a wilful leaving of loose ties and explanation, but this time with much less effect and viewer satisfaction. Though still genuinely fascinating as is all of the output.

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Aunt Peg
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#68 Post by Aunt Peg » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:58 am

This was was third Antonioni film and the first of his work that I saw on the big screen in (I'd seen Blow Up and Zabriskie Point on home video already). Its interesting that the New York Times film critic Vincent Canby's panning review of the film after it was screened at the New York Film Festival in 1982 helped to deter any distributors from picking up the film for a U.S. theatrical release. It's sort of ironic too that it was Vincent Canby's rave in same year of Wayne Wang's debut feature Chan is Missing that probably played a big role in that films success and subsequent launch of Wang's career.

There wouldn't be a single film critic today that would have that kind of power.

dda1996a
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#69 Post by dda1996a » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:25 am

Which is both a good and a bad thing. Some little gems were discovered thanks to critics while also a lot of great work was discarded because of one foolish review. A good example would be Ebert who I dislike as a critic but did help some great films be seen.

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Sloper
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#70 Post by Sloper » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:01 pm

It’s weird that this is one of my favourite Antonioni films, and I can see why a lot of people don’t like it. I posted a defence about seven years ago back in the dedicated thread, and have watched it many times since.

The things I love about this film are all kind of unlikely, or personal. A lot of it has to do with the early-80s setting and soundtrack, which are somehow uniquely tuned to remind me of my early childhood (I was born in 1983). I can’t put my finger on why that’s true of this film more than any other, but as soon as I hear the music that Niccolo puts on when he first comes home, or the clip from ‘Sons of Pioneers’, or the music over the end credits, I get a powerful sense of nostalgia – and entirely pleasurable nostalgia at that. So olmo’s criticism about John Foxx’s music dating the film hits on one of the reasons I keep going back to it.

I also love the fact that, no matter how many times I watch this film, I can never remember which scene is coming next. This relates to Big Ben’s point about how ‘relaxed’ the film feels, even at moments of danger (the speeding car in the fog) or confrontation (Niccolo cornering the thug in public). It takes Antonioni’s preference for meandering, seemingly un-structured narratives to a new extreme, but without (in my opinion but clearly not in others’) annoying or frustrating the viewer.

I like how low the stakes are here, and how philosophical Niccolo seems about his unrelentingly frustrating love life, and about his own inability to form sustainable relationships. The final shot recalls other nihilistic ‘sunset’ endings where we’re made to stare into a blinding light – L’eclisse and Zabriskie Point spring to mind – but this one is more casual about riding into oblivion, into an eclipse. It’s a renunciation of human relationships and reciprocity in general (the nephew’s final question remains unanswered), but an embrace of the future, and the universe, whatever they hold for us. There’s a line here (I think Ida says it) about being at peace with whatever life brings, echoing Giulietta’s final epiphany in Red Desert, ‘Everything that happens to me is my life’, and I guess here the ending represents an embrace of that modern, progressive, potentially de-humanising world that the earlier films regard with such trepidation.

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olmo
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Re: Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)

#71 Post by olmo » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:39 pm

Sloper wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:01 pm
The things I love about this film are all kind of unlikely, or personal. A lot of it has to do with the early-80s setting and soundtrack, which are somehow uniquely tuned to remind me of my early childhood (I was born in 1983). I can’t put my finger on why that’s true of this film more than any other, but as soon as I hear the music that Niccolo puts on when he first comes home, or the clip from ‘Sons of Pioneers’, or the music over the end credits, I get a powerful sense of nostalgia – and entirely pleasurable nostalgia at that. So olmo’s criticism about John Foxx’s music dating the film hits on one of the reasons I keep going back to it.
The coda from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Stanlow. My comments on Foxx's score are of course purely subjective, it just doesn't seem a fit with the film, utilising more of Orchestral Manoeuvres'...albums Organisation & Architecture & Morality from which the featured Stanlow & Souvenir are taken would have more suited the melancholy tone of the picture.

Foxx's score for me indelibly marks the film as 80's and dates it in the way Wang Chung horribly reeks of and evokes Miami Vice in Friedkin's To Live & Die in LA.

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