Blow Up, Part 1 is a complete painted abstract interpretation of Michaelangelo Antonioni’s classic 1966 movie, Blow Up. The complex composition consists of lines, shapes and various tones derived from scenes and characters portrayed on screen.
Blowup, or Blow-Up, is a 1966 British-Italian film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni about a fashion photographer, played by David Hemmings, who believes he has unwittingly captured a murder on film. It was Antonioni’s first entirely English-language film.
The film also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle, Jane Birkin, Tsai Chin, Peter Bowles, and Gillian Hills as well as sixties model Veruschka. The screenplay was by Antonioni and Tonino Guerra, with English dialogue by British playwright Edward Bond. The film was produced by Carlo Ponti, who had contracted Antonioni to make three English-language films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (the others were Zabriskie Point and The Passenger).
The plot was inspired by Julio Cortázar‘s short story, “Las babas del diablo” or “The Devil’s Drool” (1959), translated also as “Blow Up” in Blow-up and Other Stories, in turn based on a story told to Cortázar by photographer Sergio Larraín, and by the life of Swinging London photographer David Bailey. The film was scored by jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. Except for the music for the opening and closing title and credit sequences, the music is diegetic, as Hancock noted: “It’s only there when someone turns on the radio or puts on a record.” In the main competition section of the Cannes Film Festival, Blowup won the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film, the festival’s highest honour.
The American release of the counterculture-era film with its explicit sexual content (by contemporary standards) by a major Hollywood studio was in direct defiance of the Production Code. Its subsequent outstanding critical and box office success proved to be one of the final events that led to the final abandonment of the code in 1968 in favour of the MPAA film rating system. In 2012, Blowup was ranked No.144 in the Sight & Sound critics’ poll of the world’s greatest films.