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Michelangelo Antonioni's Biography

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Michelangelo Antonioni was born in Ferrara, Italy on 29 September 1912.

The film director, who died in July 2007, was most famous for Blow-Up, which gained two Oscar nominations.

Antonioni graduated from the University of Bologna and later became film critic for Il Corriere Padano, but was fired as he was regarded as too left-wing by the fascists.

Michelangelo Antonioni gained international attention with L'Avventura in 1960.

He directed his first film in English, Blow Up, in 1966.

The BBC's obituary of David Hemmings describes his audition for the role of Thomas in Blow Up:

" ... he [Hemmings] thought he had blown his chance of appearing in the film because the director [Antonioni] had shook his head constantly throughout his audition.

"The actor said he later discovered that Antonioni had a mild form of Tourette's which caused him to move his head from side to side.

"'That was my whole of experience with him - he was always saying no really.'"

Before making his first feature film, Cronanca di un Amore, in 1950, Antonioni had been scriptwriter to Rossellini and assistant to Carne.

Sidney Lumet in 'Making Movies' wrote: "I'll never forget my shock at Zabriskie Point, Antonioni's first picture in English. I had always loved his work. I still loved what he'd done directorially, but the language in the picture was a real problem."

The point is well made, although the earlier statement that Blow Up (and not Zabriskie Point) was Antonioni's first film in English appears to be true.

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