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June 26, 2005

I am not God, but...: Antonioni

Actor Peter Bowles revisits his time on the set of Blow-Up: "When I came to my first close-up with Antonioni, we went through one take, then another take, then another take. He'd say, "Cut. Now Peter, that was good. But it was not so good as take five. Although it was better than take seven. So, we go again."He wanted me to use an upward inflection on my line, which didn't make any sense to me at all, but I was trying to do it. I have never had such close coaching from any other director, and many actors wouldn't stand for it. Finally, on take 13: "Cut. Print. Good. Peter, come with me." So he took me off set and said to me, "Peter, I understand. You wish to show the world what a fine actor you are." He got that right. "When you work with other directors you give them your performance and they film it. Not with me, Peter. You see I have chosen you for how you look. I have chosen all your clothes. If I move my camera 6 inches, I would ask you to do that line in a different way." Upon this, he put his arms around me and held me close to him and said, "Peter, believe in me. Trust me. I am not God, but I am Michelangelo Antonioni."

Posted by at June 26, 2005 02:13 PM

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