Royal Books

Seller of rare books and paper in Baltimore, specializing in cinema, music, literature, and the arts.

Red Desert | Michelangelo Antonioni | 1964

Original US press kit for the 1964 film, designed and printed by Cinematografica Federiz in Rome. An unusual pressbook, with a full-color card wrapper (evoking the strong Technicolor style of the film) and pages laid in loosely, with tissue guards in between the page gatherings. Included is a rather dense essay by Antonioni written exclusively for the pressbook.

Antonioni’s first color film, and the last in a quartet of films made between 1959 and 1964 about women in modern culture (preceded by “L’avventura,” “La notte,” and L’eclisse”), and the lie of happiness and better living. This entry, very much an antecedent to Todd Haynes’ “Safe”(1995), focuses on Vitti, a woman trying to survive in the modern world of cultural neurosis and existential doubt. Di Palma’s cinematography remains legendary today for its stunningly colored industrial landscapes, beautiful and yet indirectly evoking Vitti’s unease, alienation, and vivid perceptions.

Folding card wrappers, 12 x 9 inches. Pages laid in, with tissue guards between gatherings. Near Fine.

Criterion Collection 522.

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