A successful Fashion photographer, Thomas (David Hemmings) searches to find new subjects one afternoon in a park, when he photographs a mysterious couple. Later that day he returns to his studio developing his new photos and discovers a murder in his blown up negatives. He vigorously studied the photos trying to put the pieces together but never calls the police.
Michelangelo Antonioni utilized the Continuity Style Editing, which "uses cuts and other transitions to establish verisimilitude and tells stories efficiently, requiring minimal mental effort on the part of the viewers." One of the main aspects of this editing style I noticed was the invisible editing. This style accomplished "minimization of the perception of breaks between shots." This makes this film extremely easy for one to watch. While watching this film I saw that the personality of the main character made a distinct connection with the editing style.
The main character felt as if his life was boring and desolate. Throughout the film, the editing was very smooth as the main characters personality was, and it took you along for the ride through the life of a London photographer. We see some of the scenes through Thomas' eyes. We see what Thomas sees when he was rides by the store near the park and when he gets to the park, we see the couple through his eyes. Everything appears very laid back and Thomas acts accordingly. Nothing extremely interesting or action filled occurs until the middle of the film. Thomas has two seemingly non noteworthy photo shoots when he arrives at the park to take pictures. This is, however, when he actually finds something of great interest. This discovery has no effect on his personality and he and the editing style remain the same.
The invisible editing in this film left me unable to account for where the cut and breaks were, which left me able to relax and simply watch the film. Although there was a scene where overlapping editing took place such as in the first scene, when Thomas begins his photo shoot we see the model (subject)from the cameras point of view. The editing cuts after every shot the camera takes. I found this style to be fascinating that we were seeing the scene as the camera takes photos of scenery, people, etc. The second photo shoot consist of smooth cuts. The second shoot contained longer shots and the cutting of each scene was unnoticeable. This second time around the editing was not through the camera's point of view, but the photographer.
The primary rule for continuity editing is the 180 degree rule. We see this present in conversations, such as the scene where Thomas is speaking to the owner of the little antique shop and the scene when he and the mysterious girl from the photos are smoking a cigarette. Both of these shots as well as another conversational one, are "filmed as if bisected by an imaginary line known as the axis of action." If they were to break the axis of action, "the characters onscreen positions would be reversed."
This film was extremely relaxing, requiring a minute amount of mental effort to watch. My biggest complaint is that the piece was also unexciting and boring at times. There was no real excitement or action. The film kept my attention, however the ending could be considered a letdown. My one and only thought I had at the end of the film, which I could not figure out, was the question of the body. Was it really there or was that something else in Thomas's photo?