Blow-Up (1966) is director Michelangelo Antonioni’s view of the world of mod fashion, and an engaging, provocative murder mystery that examines the existential nature of reality through photography. Antonioni’s first film in English, it quickly became one of the most important films of its decade, and a milestone in liberalized attitudes toward film nudity and expressions of sexuality. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (with no wins): Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay (Edward Bond, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Tonino Guerra).
A desensitized-to-life, nihilistic, high-fashion photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) in London, who lives a mid-60s life of excess (riches, fame, and women), becomes bored with his lucrative career of glamour photography. So he resorts to photographing, in documentary style, the seamy and sordid side of life in London, in flophouses and slums.
Innocently, he takes candid photos in a deserted park of a lover’s tryst-rendezvous between a kerchief-wearing woman (Vanessa Redgrave) and a middle-aged, gray-haired man in a light-gray suit. She pursues him to ask for the illicit photos, as he imagines that he has witnessed a scene of sexual intrigue – never thinking that he may have accidentally obtained visual, criminal evidence of a murder.