From watching the movie, I believe that Blow-Up mainly focuses on one character, an outstanding fashion photographer. During the whole movie I thought his personality was very hard to read because I didn’t know if he was mean or just eccentric in a way. Most viewers would have called him a jerk and I would agree but it was amusing for me at the same time because although he has a sort of negative description, his personality/character is still very much powerful.
The movie in general was eccentric and deviant for me because it wasn’t the usual mainstream story. I found it very difficult to watch because there were a lot of things going on that I didn’t understand. I couldn’t seem to connect other scenes with the major plot (the photographer blowing up photos he took of a certain couple in a park and finding out that he captured a murder in the scene). I found myself asking a lot of questions if other scenes were really relevant to the plot. The mimes (or Revellers as how Blowup Central describes them) in the beginning and in the end seem to have not contributed much to the plot as well as his encounter with the two girls who desperately wanted to be models, the antique shop with the purchasing of a propeller plus the scene with the Yardbirds band, the dead crowd and the broken guitar piece. After reading Blowup Central, these scenes which seem to have no connection whatsoever actually serve as “distractions” to the main plot. Notice how in these scenes the photographer would lose focus on his real mission (which is to get answers and solve the supposed murder). Antonioni probably purposely did this in order for us, the viewers to get distracted as well and in order to leave us puzzled just like in reality, when the whole point of mysteries is to leave us clueless at some points.
As Blowup Central explains, there was a lot of irony and metaphors in the film. As I read in one of Kaufman’s entries, there is a certain “wrongness” to the film. For example, the dead crowd while the Yardbirds were playing. In a normal setting, we would see a crowd either bobbing their heads, tapping their feet, raising their arms, etc. but in the film, there were only 2 people (a black man and a white woman) who were doing the norm. When we see that the guitarist of the band break his guitar and his guitar piece ends up in the crowd, we only then see the “normality of the crowd” as they hover over the guitar piece and chase after the photographer who own.
If we focus on the main plot and try to solve it, the first thing we’d predict is that the photographer would be looking for the woman whom he shot in the park because she was part of the scene. However, when he does see her and try to find her, she just disappears. As explained in class, I agree that this woman served as a metaphor for being the answer to the crime/problem because obviously she was involved in it. However, when she disappeared, I as an audience automatically felt that the photographer’s case was almost a lost cause and that he would have to find more clues. Knowing the setting, the climax and the plot, you expect it to get built up and be mainly focused on that, but it didn’t.
Blowup Central talked about how the theme of the film was all about isolation and the inability to communicate. Remembering how the movie plays out and how the photographer’s character plays out, there was an inability to communicate. The photographer becomes powerful with his camera because through the camera, he’s able to see something more than what he can see with his own eyes. He was able to capture the “murder” with his camera but as he tried to see beyond the camera, things disappeared in his hands. He wasn’t able to talk to the woman in the park; he wasn’t able to talk to his friend, Ron and Patricia (supposed lover). In the end, we see that he is left alone with nothing and no one. However, what I found strange was that as the “mimes” were supposedly playing fake tennis, the photographer was able to hear the sound of the tennis ball being hit back and forth. For me, I think this explains how the photographer has his own world and how he sees things differently from others which sort of explains the whole isolation theme.
It’s difficult to watch this film because I expected for this thing to happen after a certain scene but then a whole different thing happens that has no connection to the main plot whatsoever. This is where the distractions come in. In a normal mystery thriller, crimes/mysteries get solved some way but in this movie, the story and main character were left open-ended.