That Bowling Alley on the Tiber

That Bowling Alley on the Tiber : Tales of a Director

3.69 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this evocative book, Michelangelo Antonioni, one of the world's greatest directors, gives us a rare glimpse inside the creative mind. "My thoughts are always about film," he says, and here he has written thirty-three richly suggestive pieces elaborating ideas for films as yet unproduced. Beautifully translated by William Arrowsmith, That Bowling Alley on the Tiber reveals a master of cinema in a new role--that of an accomplished and sensitive writer. "Plangent, haunting and refreshingly tough-minded...[Antonioni] is asking the questions that wiry serious film maker will have to ask if the cinema is ever to prove as hospitable to ideas as it is to the great god Action."--The New York Times Book Review "These writings, like his films, pair luminous landscapes with ethereal tales....These are clearly working notes, and they are as interesting for their analysis of the director's methods as for their literary content."--Library Journal About the Author and Translator: Michelangelo Antonioni has gained an international following with such films as L'Avventura, La notte, Blow-up and The Passenger. William Arrowsmith is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at Emory University. .Winner of a major Italian literary award"show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 236 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.82 x 22.86mm | 453.59g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019503676X
  • 9780195036763

Review Text

Snatches of visions, plots, scenarios, overheard dialogue, fancies and poetic musings fill this appealingly fragmented and curious book. Antonioni, whose films, L'avventura and La notte, symbolized the aimless and desperate emptiness of love, continues here his probings of modern man's itchy sensibilities. He does it well, but without giving us a real biography. If you want to know the intimate details of his life, look elsewhere. His fans will hover over his ideas of film and will be given a chance to partake in his reconstructions of the creative process. He is a man who seizes the seed of a movie in an idle street encounter, a creator for whom a city's rustlings can be dissected, analyzed and become a sound track for a film for which there is as yet no plot. He thinks with his eyes and senses - smells, light and people encountered almost anywhere rouse him to imagine who they are and what sadnesses haunt the outer edge of their lives, waiting like destiny to destroy them. Like his favorite poet, T.S. Eliot, he senses the tragic nexus of man's life, but unlike the poet he is not sure of God or salvation. Avowedly secular and questioning, he suffers the dilemmas for which religion offers succor, but he remains a man whose visions are decidedly untheological. He is a philosopher for the post-WW II man, the existential man, the lonely and Godless. If the reader will put up with fragments, snippets and disconnected pieces, and is not frustrated because the director hasn't given fuller reign to some riveting scenes and character, then all will be well. Antonioni will reward the patient (and the unconventional) with moments of rare lucidity. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

42 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 26% (11)
4 36% (15)
3 24% (10)
2 10% (4)
1 5% (2)
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