Red Desert (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Red Desert (Italian: Il deserto rosso) is a 1964 Italian film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. It was written by Antonioni and Tonino Guerra and stars Monica Vitti, Richard Harris and others. It is Antonioni's first color film.


A young, mentally distressed woman, Giuliana (Monica Vitti), has suffered a car accident. Although she is married to Ugo (Carlo Chionetti), a plant designer, and has a young son, she feels disconnected from the world that surrounds her. She does not know how to connect to it and feels that something in it is terribly wrong. Ugo's friend Zeller (Richard Harris), who came to Ravenna to make a business deal, pursues her attracted by her beauty and enigma. He begins to understand her troubles better than her preoccupied husband, but it is still not enough.

It is a story about the harshness of humanity and its blindness to see the world it created. Only the neurotic Guiliana is awakened, seeing and feeling the profound alienation and suffering it all.

The story is set in the industrial area of Ravenna that decorates cold and silent factories and machines, and a harbour. The visuals are dominated by pastel colors and cold whiteness with smoke and fog covering everything, and the sound design by repetitive ghostly ship horns.


This film was awarded the Golden Lion at The Venice Film Festival in 1964.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Red Desert (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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