Film Screening 18th October, 2006

Poster for The Passenger

The Passenger 

8:00 PM, 18th October, 2006

  • M
  • 126 mins
  • 1975
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Michelangelo Antonioni, Mark Peploe, Peter Wollen
  • Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre, Ian Hendry

Directed by the legendary Michelangelo Antonioni, The Passenger opens in the desert of an unnamed African country. British-born, American-raised journalist Jack Nicholson is trying to cover a mysterious rebellion. When he chances upon a British expatriate, the pair become friends. When the expatriate dies, Nicholson swaps identities with the dead man and is drawn back to Europe on the trail of intrigue. In Barcelona Nicholson strikes up a relationship with Maria Schneider, only to find that his wife is now in pursuit of the last man supposed to have seen her husband alive. As the African government seeks out its enemies, the trap begins to close on the lovers. The Passenger is one of the great films of the 70s. On the cusp of mainstream and art-house genres, it is characterised by a slow pace, minimal narrative detail and patient camerawork. The Passenger is easily Nicholsons best performance: there are no twitches or leers, only honest and assured acting. The seven minute long tracking shot at the conclusion is one of the most famous pieces of camera work ever. The Passenger is an austere film whose pauses and silences express the alienation and confusion of the characters in a way that no one since has really attempted. You owe it to yourself to see this gem!

Phillip Hilton