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THE PASSENGER at AFI FEST 2007 Presented by Audi

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Published on Oct 25, 2007

DIR: Michelangelo Antonioni
SCR: Mark Peploe,
Peter Wollen,
Michelangelo Antonioni
PROD: Carlo Ponti, Alessandro von Norman
DP: Luciano Tovoli
ED: Michelangelo Antonioni, Franco Arcalli
MUS: Ivan Vandor
CAST: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre, Ian Hendry, Steven Berkoff, Ambroise Bia, José María Caffarel, James Campbell, Manfred Spies, Jean-Baptiste Tiemele, Ángel del Pozo, Charles Mulvehill, Narciso Pula

Michelangelo Antonioni's last great movie appeared in 1975, when he was in his early '60s. It's officially a French-Spanish-Italian co-production, with an American star, Jack Nicholson.

The film immediately escapes all these categories, beginning in stark desert terrain and following a man called Locke who assumes the identity of another man called Robertson. The director works from a fine spare screenplay by Mark Peploe and Peter Wollen. With its dangling flashbacks, long takes, deep spaces, and hovering sense of violence, THE PASSENGER is one of the strongest films in Antonioni's enduring study of identity and apartness.

"People disappear every day," says the woman (Maria Schneider). "Every time they leave the room," says the man (Nicholson). In Spain, he finally reenters the room. The famous final seven-minute take of human isolation is unforgettable. This missing film reappears after 25 years.

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