red desert 2
This is a trailer (which I can't figure out how to embed here) with the boppy kind of soundtrack typical of 1960s Italy. It is misleading, as Giovanni Fusco's Il deserto rosso soundtrack is generally abstract and electronic, but if anything, this overly kooky music is the part of pop-Italy that also produced bright little Olivetti typewriters, the Isetta and Ettore Sottsass.
Antonioni's early films are black and white 1950s epics of bleak betrayal, then he did the black, white and red Il deserto rosso, then got to England and did Blow-Up in full colour – lots of decadent fun: the Red Desert party in Ravenna looks like kindergarten in comparison, then Zabriskie Point in Los Angeles where colour and consumer excess literally exploded all over the screen. Italy hurtled from postwar, Carlo Scarpa sobriety to jangling technicolour instability so fast it lost its head and replaced it with Berlusconi.
Despite the bizarreness of this assemblage of segments, it has a shot of an industrial landscape (between 1:30 and 1:40 – even better watch it in full screen), illustrating why I find Burtynsky's photos of industrial landscapes so didactic, so condescendingly instructive.