In Memory of Two Great Filmmakers
Revisiting Antonioni and Bergman
by Shahzad Rahmati

Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni, two of the most significant figures of Europe and the world’s modern cinema died within a short period of each other leaving movie lovers all over the world in sorrow. Undoubtedly, both of them were among the most important post-war European filmmakers. Antonioni started his career in films when the Italian cinema was overwhelmed by the post-war movement of neorealism. His first films were either neorealistic or influenced by the movement. Nonetheless, even in his very first film, Story of a Love Affair, complicated camera movements surpassed the photographic style that was prevalent in neorealism. In fact, it was with The Outcry that Antonioni managed to take a big step towards his own personal style that turned out to be different from neorealism. The outcome was a sophisticated, minimalist cinema with strong psychological undertones and little concern for straightforward storytelling. Unlike neorealism that dealt with the lower depths of society from a leftist standpoint, Antonioni exclusively dealt with the bourgeois and portrayed their lifestyle. Man’s loneliness and lack of communication has been the subject of too many films in the history of cinema, but few filmmakers have paid more attention to these subjects than Antonioni. He was the maestro of portraying the void in places and in human relationships. In most of his films, characters turn to love as their last resort against the modern world; but due to lack of communication, even love proves futile and inconclusive. 
In comparison, Bergman used more vivid philosophical and spiritual motifs in his films.

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