Slough Cooperative Film Society Slough Cooperative Film Society


25th February 2020 DATCHET VILLAGE HALL

THE PASSENGER (Professione: reporter)

Italy/Spain/France 121 mins Cert. 15

David Locke Jack Nicholson Director Michelangelo Antonioni
Girl Maria Schneider Screenplay Michelangelo Antonioni
Rachel Locke Jenny Runacre Mark Peploe
Martin Knight Ian Hendry Peter Wollen
Steven Berkoff
Ambroisa Bia/
Chuck Mulvehill
Luciano Tovoli
Michelangelo Antonioni
Franco Arcalli
Fausto Ancillai
Although involved in Italian cinema since the 1930s, Antonioni was 38 when he made his feature debut, Story of a Love Affair (1950), which contains the seeds of his fastidious, allusive later work and had nothing to do with the prevailing neo-realism. When L'Avventura provoked passionate advocacy and equally passionate derision at the 1960 Cannes Festival, he embarked on a succession of provocative movies that made him a world figure and transformed Monica Vitti (who starred in the first four) into an international icon.
passager poster

The Passenger (Professione: reporter, a paranoid thriller that draws on Joseph Conrad, Luigi Pirandello, Jorge Luis Borges and Graham Greene, was his third film in English and arguably his last great picture. It gave Jack Nicholson (in between Chinatown and One Flew Over theCuckoo's Nest) a major role as a television reporter at the end of his tether while covering a complicated civil war in Africa. He assumes the identity of a near doppelganger, who died in the next-door room at a remote Saharan hotel. Following up various rendezvous in the other man's diary, he discovers he's impersonating an arms dealer selling weapons to guerrillas. From being an observer of conflict, he's become a participant and he finds himself on the run from London to Munich, to Spain, trailed by his TV producer (Ian Hendry), his wife/widow (Jenny Runacre), and in the latter stages accompanied by a mysterious young architectural student (Maria Schneider from Last Tango inParis). This elliptical, brilliantly edited movie subtly integrates flashbacks and rarely sags. The dramatic climax is a virtuoso seven-minute take outside a hotel in southern Spain that influenced Haneke's Hidden. Scripted by the British writers Mark Peploe and Peter Wollen, The Passenger is a study of identity, alienation, and social commitment that locates its themes and ideas firmly in the social ambience of its times. The fact that it had been out of distribution for over 20 years has only served to elevate its reputation - something similar happened to Hitchcock’s Vertigo