Michelangelo Antonioni, one of Italy’s most famous and influential filmmakers, has died at the age of 94. He achieved fame in the 1960s and early 1970s. But his career spanned six decades. And in the 1990s he collaborated with the much younger art house cinema favourite Wim Wenders. According to his wife, the veteran director died peacefully at his home.
Antonioni’s talents were recognized by Hollywood and in 1995, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award. It was presented by Jack Nicholson, who, 20 years earlier, starred in the Antonioni film “The Passenger.” Antonioni scored his first real international success in 1960 with “L’Avventura”, an exploration of the emotional sterility of modern society.
In 1966 came the Oscar-nominated English-language film “Blowup.” Set in “swinging 60s” London, it turned Antonioni into a cult figure for moviegoers and moviemakers. With their long lingering shots, many audiences found his pictures pretentious. Others however hailed Antonioni as one of the founding fathers of European avant-garde cinema.