Tonight I watched Michealangelo Antonioni’s magnificent film Deserto Rosso (1964). Monica Vitti plays the hysterical Guliana, who suffers the disorientation of mass consumerism in Italy after World War II. It was a downloaded copy that I watched on my computer. Some strange distortions occurred during the film. The distortions seem to add a distinctive layer of alienation. I’ve posted some screen shots here, with a poem by Anne Carson that reflects on the film.
Ode to the Sublime by Monica Vitti
I want everything.
Everything is a naked thought that strikes.
A foghorn sounding through fog makes the fog seem to be everything.
Quail eggs eaten from the hand in fog make everything aphrodisiac.
My husband shrugs when I say so, my husband shrugs at everything.
The lakes where his factory has poisoned everything are as beautiful as Bruegel.
I keep my shop, in order that I may sell everything there, empty but I leave the light on.
Everything might spill.
Do you know that in the deepest part of the sea everything goes transparent? asks my husband’s friend
Corrado and I say Do you know how afraid I am?
Everything requires attention, I never relax my neck even when kissing Corrado.
Kant says “everything” exists only in our mind, attended by a motion of pleasure and
pain that throws itself back and forth in me when I lay on Corrado’s bed fighting with
everything with Corrado watching from across the room then he came to the bed and
mounted me and this made no difference except now I had to fight everything through Corrado, which I did
“undaunted” (so Kant) on his freezing bed in its midnight glare.
What will you take? I ask Corrado who is leaving for Patagonia and when he says 2 or 3
valises I say if I had to go away I would take with me everything I see.
To this Corrado says nothing which is not I think the opposite of everything.
Doesn’t seem right is what my husband would say, he says this about everything—
especially since I came out of the clinic, a clinic for people who want everything, everything I see
everything I taste everything I touch everyday even the ashtrays and at
the clinic I had only one question What shall I do with my eyes?