Journal Topics for Blow Up


Blow Up (1966) was produced by Italian producer Carlo Ponti as a British-Italian coproduction. The story was adapted from a short story by Julio Cortázar.

The film was directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and the cinematographer was Carlo di Palma.  Blow Up won the Grand Prix at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival.

Blow Up was one of three highly controversial films released during 1967 that stimulated passionate discussions among critics and scholars. The other films included Bonnie and Clyde(1967), and The Graduate (1967).

Questions:  Pay attention to the totality of Antonioni’s shot choices, mise-en-scène, camera movement, and the way he relates actors to objects in his compositions:

  1. How would you describe the color palette of the film? What are the dominant colors?
  2. What are the principal locations utilized in the film?
  3. How do you feel about the photographer and supporting characters in the film considering that…although the author Cortázar, gives him a name in his short story, Antonioni never give him a name in the film. In the script, he is known only as the photographer.
  4. What highly effective directing strategies did you notice in scenes or sequences?
  5. What meaning do you take from the scene at the end of the film?
  6. Although Blow Up most effectively utilizes visuals to tell the story, there are some very interesting lines of dialogue in the film that contribute to the theme. Did any of them capture your attention?