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Michelangelo Antonioni

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  August 8, 2007

As for David Locke, he suffers one death when he exchanges identities with Robertson, who it turns out was selling guns to the rebels in an African nation. His new life takes him through Munich and Barcelona to Osuna in southern Spain, where, lying on a bed in the Hotel de la Gloria, he dies again, shot by men from that African nation’s government. In the ultimate act of liberation — corporeal and cinematic — Antonioni’s camera starts inside the hotel room, moves toward the iron-grilled window, and, impossibly, squeezes through, out into the freedom of the plaza and the sea and sky beyond, before turning back to look at the body it’s just left. It’s almost as if the director were waving goodbye.

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