AMBIGUOUS clues point to a murder having taken place, and a photographer sets out to establish if it has. A young man, sought by the police for his involvement in a campus protest which has erupted into violence, steals an airplane to make his getaway. A man assumes the identity of another man who died, and finds himself enmeshed in a web of intrigue and gunrunning. These mystery-thriller plots (the last even includes an auto chase) are, of course, not from Hitchcock movies (though the first sounds exactly like Rear Window) but those of the last three fiction films-Blow-Up, Zabriskie Point, The Passenger-of Michelangelo Antonioni, celebrated purveyor of plotless ennui. To be sure, these films do stand apart from Antonioni’s previous work, but not, I think, for reasons of their plottedness. By one of those chance occurrences which seem to govern the distribution of films, Antonioni’s first feature film, Story of a Love Affair (Cronaca di un Amore, 1950), is be- ing released in this country at the same time as his latest, and it turns out to be a story (I rely on the description of others, since I haven’t seen it) of an adulterous couple who plan a murder.
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