|OPI's "Jewel of India"|
Anyway, back to the film. This movie is from 1964, was directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, and starred Monica Vitti and Richard Harris. If you would classify yourself as a somewhat casual movie watcher, meaning you see movies just for the mindless entertainment of it, then DISCLAIMER: this is not the film for you! If I had not been so committed to seeing this film the entire way through to get the benefit of hearing spoken Italian, I would quite possibly have found myself banging my head against the wall before it even reached the halfway mark. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a horrendous movie by any means. It's just a very artistic film that meets you with odd dialogue, drab colours, and less than thrilling '60s haircuts at every turn. I can appreciate this film as a work of art, but it won't be one of my go-to favourites in the years to come.
"Il Deserto Rosso" deals largely with the theme of depression and an existential nihilistic mentality which pervades throughout all aspects of the film. If you can watch a clinically depressed woman stagger about in landscapes of poison-spewing factories and lakes yellowed by the ooze of toxic waste, then more power to you. It's certainly an interesting movie, and one that juxtaposes an attempt to find meaning in life with man's own destruction of his environment in a very striking way, but I feel fairly certain that I would have better enjoyed the same concept displayed in a series of photographs at an art gallery (I'm thinking of something along the lines of Ed Burtynsky).
If this concept appeals to you, and you, like me, appreciate foreign films, but would like a little more action and intrigue, I would suggest the 2008 Italian film "Gomorrah." I'm not going to review this movie on here, but if you are interested, it deals with multiple plotlines surrounding the Mafia in southern Italy; one of which examines the effect of political corruption on the environmental decisions being made, decidedly underhandedly, in the country.