Personally, I did not enjoy the film Blow-up. I thought it was boring and kept the viewers too detached from the story and the characters, making it very difficult to appreciate the movie. In line with that, I can think of a couple of reasons why the film Blow-up was very difficult to watch.
First, the film follows only one character, and apart from this, the character around which the film revolves is very hard to like because of his attitude. Second, the lack of dialogue in the film makes it so much harder to appreciate for multiple reasons. In line with my first point, the main character hardly has any substantial conversations with anyone else throughout the film, preventing the development of his character as well as the viewers from getting invested in his storyline. Moreover, the minimal dialogue makes the movie drag on for minutes at a time, leaving the viewers with nothing but to watch the main character run around shooting photographs or doing whatever else. Most of the time, the film doesn’t even establish what the character is doing or is trying to do or for what he is doing whatever he is doing. When this would happen, like in that scene near the beginning of the film when the photographer was taking pictures in the park, I felt like I was left with nothing interesting to listen to nor to watch, therefore leaving me uninterested in the film itself. If the minimal dialogue was meant to be made up for visually, I don’t think this was done successfully.
After reading the online resources however, I was able to appreciate the film a bit more. Particularly interesting were the analysis from Blowup Central as well as the article on the wrongness of the film by Kaufman. The film began to make sense as the readings helped me see it in a different light. I still don’t think the film was able to put its message across very well, however. If the movie was meant to be centered on the idea of communication, or the inability to communicate, then I guess it was somewhat successful with regards to its purpose insofar as it was not able to effectively communicate its message. The Kaufman article however, caused me to feel a bit conflicted about this because it helped me appreciate the brilliance behind the director’s cinematography. On the other hand though, this may have been too artsy to be appreciated by common viewers such as myself to appreciate.
Thinking about the film as though it was about filmmaking made me remember the discussion we had in class about reality and perception. Viewing the film in this light, I think it could have been about how films present certain realities to the viewers, leaving them unsure about what they are witnessing onscreen. The open-endedness of the film attests to this as the importance of the viewers’ perception of what the film means is given emphasis. Like the photographer, the viewers’ aren’t given any direct answers to the questions that the film poses and can therefore mean anything anyone can think up. This was an interesting thought as it felt like an art film to me, and understanding this approach to making these kinds of films may be key to appreciating them as well.