Michelangelo Antonioni's famous 60s thriller is "as maddening to watch as it is absorbing". Boasting incredible camerawork from Carlo Di Palma, this bubble of swinging London has sadly only come to DVD after the death of lead star David Hemmings, whose contribution to this otherwise satisfactory disc would have been a real bonus.
Just as Hemmings continued to blow-up a photo to reveal the central mystery of the film, we can now zoom into the picture on the DVD. Thanks to a decent transfer of a print that's clear and rich in colour, it'll withstand your scrutiny. The mono soundtrack is quite adequate but it's tempting to imagine what a subtle 5.1 mix could have done to enhance both the music and the atmosphere of the windy park scene.
To try and give reason to a film as impenetrable as Blow-Up seems to be asking for trouble, and in Peter Brunette's commentary he readily admits to not understanding certain scenes (like those of the merrymakers). As author of The Films Of Michelangelo Antonioni, he is able to offer some useful pointers on the style of the man in terms of scene composition.
Brunette does suggest what might be going on in the film, and puts forward the idea of Antonioni seeing himself in the character Hemmings plays. He doesn't always justify his theories but his musings are informed enough to interest film students trying to decipher a thriller that's maybe just a good-looking ride and little else.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.