34th Annual Film Series Continues with ‘Blow-Up’ Jan. 24

The Oklahoma City University Film Institute’s series will continue its 34th year at 2 pm Jan. 24 with Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of Meinders School of Business.

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Italian director Antonioni’s first English-language production Blow-Up was his only box office hit, but widely considered one of the seminal films of the 1960s. Leading character Thomas is a nihilistic, wealthy fashion photographer in mod “Swinging London.” Filled with ennui, bored with his fab but oddly lifeless existence of casual sex and drug use, Thomas comes alive when he wanders through a park, stops to take pictures of a couple embracing and, upon developing the images, believes that he has photographed a murder. He is soon pursued by a woman who appears in the photos. Antonioni’s thriller is a puzzling, existential, adroitly-assembled masterpiece—a film that questions whether we can find meaning.

The theme of this year’s season is based on Viktor Frankl’s classic book “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Harbour Winn, director of the series, said the theme is intended to help participants come to understand the purpose of suffering.

“The films in this series stress the importance of an individual’s attitude to existence,” Winn said. “Even when life seems restricted by external forces, we can choose the attitude with which we live and make meaning, to find value.”

The screening will begin at 2:00PM at the Kerr McGee Auditorium in the Meinders School of Business at NW 27th Street and McKinley Ave. A discussion will follow the presentation for those who wish to stay. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

ACCOLADES FOR BLOW-UP

-“This is a fascinating picture, which has something real to say about the matter of personal involvement and emotional commitment in a jazzed-up, media-hooked-in world so cluttered with synthetic stimulations that natural feelings are overwhelmed.” NY Times

-“The natural world is arrayed against the artificial scene; conscience is deployed against convention. If you’ve never seen Blow-Up, see it now, if only to see what part of the world was like 40 years ago.” Andrew Sarris, New York Observer

-“A prize ’60s artifact, Antonioni’s what-is-truth meditation on Swinging London is a movie to appreciate—if not ponder.” Village Voice

-“Whether there was a murder isn’t the point. The film is about a character mired in ennui and distaste, who is roused by his photographs into something approaching passion.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

UPCOMING FILMS

* Feb. 7, Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox

* Feb. 21, Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly 

* March 6, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan