ANALYSIS OF MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI's THE PASSENGER - PART THREE

Go to Table of Contents of the analysis. Antonioni's films are rife with themes, peculiarities and incongruities which largely go unnoticed due his deft care in handling them and the abundant and rich audio and visual textures in which he immerses us, but they are also responsible for the sense of mystery that defies a traditional expectation of resolutions, infusing Antonioni's films with enigmatic mythic purpose. And myth is never hampered by logic. My analyses explore patterns of use of these elements with the purpose of nudging to the fore secondary plot structures and hints at meaning that may stand in opposition to the seeming lay of the land.


DO YOU BELIEVE IN COINCIDENCE?

203 LS of David walking across the street from the Hotel Oriente in Barcelona...

...to the Hotel Oriente, or at least a cafe portion under a tent on a median. He walks right past Martin.

And noticing Martin he hurries along. Martin, not having noticed David, stands, finished, and prepares to leave. He looks in David's direction. And it appears that perhaps he might have seen him? He starts as though he might have. He at least gives a slight reaction.

204 MS of David glancing back, urgently hurrying along. He hides behind cages of birds. Continues along and crosses to the other side of the street. A man carries a cage of screeching monkeys past the camera.

205 CU Several wire cages of birds.


A man's hand reaches up and his finger pets one of the birds in the cages. The camera pans down and it is Martin looking at the birds. It seems he'd not seen David after all, for he has stopped and is looking at the birds.

We are returned to Blowup, Thomas photographing the birds at the park, and the bird that takes flight in the direction of the man and the woman he will then notice and follow, the man who will be murdered.

We've also returned to the bird metaphor of flight and freedom, whereas these birds are caged. Martin's arrival presents David at risk of being "caged" again.

206 LS of David entering a building as a red and white vehicle passes.

207 MS David and a man who shines shoes.


The man who shines shoes instructs David to take a seat. The shoeshiner lays his crutch down nearby.

208 MS of David sitting before a mirror in which we can see a portion of the street outside.

He is surrounded by calendars, which is notable as he is living currently by Robertson's calendar and referring to it periodically. He was to meet with the men at the Umbraculo on Wednesday Sept 5 1973, which didn't happen. It is perhaps Thursday Sept 6 or Friday the 7th.

The calendars David is surrounded by all show different months. One reads Julio, July, and is for July 1973. None appear to show September of 1973. Martin enters the mirror and in order to watch him without being detected he turns and observes him in the mirror. Martin stretches, looking up at the sun. A red van, 08, stopping before Martin, coming between them both, David rises, pays the shoe shiner and leaves.

DAVID: Gracias.

209 LS of David walking down a street toward the t-shaped sign of CINE NEON. He crosses and enters a building opposite.

210 LS from interior of David entering the building from the street. The building in which he's taken refuge is the Palau Guell by Antoni Gaudi. He pays the fee for admission and rushes away.

211 LS of a domed ceiling in Palau Guell.


We hear a man and woman speaking in German. The camera pans down and shows tourists walking different stories, descending staircases.

212 LS of David entering a hall behind a staircase. He looks right down another hall, then left.

213 MS of The Girl reading, seated on a bench.


She looks up and back down at her book. Then she looks back up again at David, then down to her book again. We see, seated on the same bench, an employee resting beneath a bird cage. David enters the hall and stops before her.

DAVID: Excuse me, I was trying to remember something.

What is he trying to remember? When he first saw her in London? Slipping into the persona of Robertson, slowly becoming him over the course of the movie, is he attempting to remember her, if she is indeed Robertson's wife? We need to return to the conversation with the old man and Antonioni's playing with cycles, things remaining the same yet recycling through different permutations.

Who is The Girl? Antonioni seems to represent family in this film with flowers. The girl is covered with flowers. Her blouse is flowered, here skirt is flowered. She is family.

THE GIRL: Is it important?

DAVID: No. (Glancing about.) What is it, do you know? I came in by accident.

THE GIRL: The man who built it was hit by a bus.

DAVID: Who was he?

THE GIRL: Gaudi. (She rises, putting up her book in her purse.) Come.


She exits the hall into the one in which he had been standing and he follows.

Gaudi was hit by a bus. He is also a person whose identity was confused. When struck by the tram, he wasn't recognized and the state of his clothing led people to think he was a beggar. It wasn't until the following day that a chaplain recognized him at the hospital. He died a couple of days later. Antonioni brings into the story time and again people who have had, in one way or another, dual identities, even if accidentally.

214 Another room of the Palau.

THE GIRL: He built this house for a corduroy manufacturer. They used this room for concerts. Wagner.

DAVID: Do you think he was crazy?


She is off screen for this and her reaction isn't shown, then the camera pans to show her again.

It is a crucial question for David, as the flashback when he was at the wedding--a flashback which was likely had by his wife--was of her yelling at him was he crazy when he was burning branches in their back yard. He had yelled back yes and she ran inside. The question also, as said, refers back to the wedding in Munich which at the time I stated can perhaps be viewed as representing The Girl's relationship to David (Robertson) and David's walking into that spousal role.

But it is all kept very mysterious, and the girl herself is mysterious. David's initial question isn't so mysterious. It is perhaps the question asked by a man who recognizes someone from London and has decided to address them directly but then lets the curiosity of him running into her twice drop. But because he has now run into her at least twice, she is becoming part of his world. Escaping another person he walks into this particular cage (a bird cage being present) of a relationship.

THE GIRL: How could you come in here by accident?

The question has more to do with fate and free will, actually.

215 They enter another hall beyond what may be an organ.

DAVID: I was escaping.

THE GIRL: Oh. From what?

DAVID: Well, I thought someone might be following me.


216 MCU of David.

DAVID: Somebody who might recognize me.

THE GIRL: Why?

DAVID: I don't know.

THE GIRL: Well, I can't recognize you. Who are you?

DAVID: I used to be...


217 MCU of David from the side of The Girl.

DAVID: ...somebody else. But I traded him in. What about you?

THE GIRL: Well, I'm in Barcelona. I'm talking to someone who might be someone else.


218 MS of two pillars that hide The Girl, she having walked behind them then emerges to the right.

THE GIRL: I was with those people, but I think I'm going to see the other Gaudi buildings alone.

The girl is more evasive and mysterious in her answers than David. He allows he is escaping from someone who might recognize him but doesn't say who or how. She states she doesn't recognize him, a statement we will return to at the end of the film. When he asks who she is she only states that she is with someone who possesses a dual identity.

We briefly see David, following behind her, to the right of the pillar, before he disappears behind it again, as she has done. they proceeding into a room beyond the pillar.

DAVID: All of them?

THE GIRL (emerging from behind the pillar in the foreground left): They're all good for hiding in. Depends on how much time you've got.


Characters disappeared and reappeared in Blowup. Thomas at one point saw Jane before a shop window and attempted to follow her, but she literally disappeared in a crowd. She didn't just blend and escape through them. She was there one moment and gone the next. It was then that David slipped through a kind of crack in the façade of the buildings into a nightclub, and when he emerged again it was just as Jane had disappeared, obscured by passersby and then suddenly there on the sidewalk. Part of the idea was disappearing and appearing from between black and white, and as if to punctuate this the girl will disappear between a light pillar and a dark pillar as she speaks about disappearing.

DAVID: I have to leave today. This afternoon.

THE GIRL: I hope you make it. People disappear every day.

DAVID: Every time they leave the room.

219 MS of The Girl leaving David back at the pillars.

THE GIRL: Goodbye.

220 The red and white striped garage of the Avis rental parking garage. Pan from it into the bright red Avis office and a woman speaking with David.

AVIS EMPLOYEE: Can we give you another car, Mr. Robertson?

Antonioni used red in Blowup to represent the deja vu of repetitions, of things recycled however differently expressed. He uses stripes of colors and light and shadow in the same way. We have this amplified here with the red and white, the woman reminding us of the Avis employee back at Munich, also in red, also wearing the "We Try Harder" button.

DAVID: Oh, fine. Yes. As long as it's a large car.

221 Shot 220 ended on David. This shot begins with the woman.

AVIS EMPLOYEE: Oh, by the way, Mr. Robertson, I have a message for you.

DAVID: A what?

AVIS EMPLOYEE: A message. It's from Mr. Knight. (She places the message before David.)

DAVID (refusing to look at it): It can't be for me.

AVIS EMPLOYEE: I'm sure it's not a mistake. Here. (She pushes the message toward him.)


222 MS of David from behind the woman.

AVIS EMPLOYEE: He said he didn't know you but he wanted you to get in touch with him. He's staying at the Hotel Oriente. (The phone rings.) The same as you, I think. (She answers the phone.)

223 CU of the message. A white sheet of paper resting on a black background near a white plane that cuts a triangle across the upper left corner of the frame.

Dear Mr. Robertson, We had a mutual friend David Locke about whom I would very much like to talk to you. Grateful if you would get in touch with me as soon as possible at the Hotel Oriente. Martin Knight.

224 MS of David.

AVIS EMPLOYEE (off screen): Will the Fiat 125 be all right?

DAVID: Son of a bitch. Are you sure that he said that he didn't know me?

AVIS EMPLOYEE (off screen): I'm quite sure, Mr. Robertson.

DAVID: Well, thank you very much. I don't think I'll be needing another car. I'm sorry.


225 LS of David walking up before Gaudi's Casa Mila.

226 MS of David inside questioning an employee.


DAVID: Usted ah una muchacha, cosa...pela...

He gestures something to do with her hair. He's guided to the stairs and to go to the fifth floor. David quickly strides up the stairs.

227 MS of David exiting onto the roof of the Mila via a door in a spire decorated with tile pieces much like we observed at the registration desk of the hotel in Africa.

Smoking, he looks over the roof, the towers of which take us back to the pareidolia experienced in Africa with the "men in the desert". Here, we can visualize these towers as re-expressions of the men in their white turbans.

228 David walks beside a twisted spire.

THE GIRL (off screen): Hey, have you decided not to disappear?

DAVID (seeing her and walking right): No! That's why I came. I thought perhaps you could help me.


The camera pans right to include The Girl now in the frame, she across a courtyard, standing beside some white and blue laundry hanging from a line. They both try to make their way to a reunion point more left screen, but David then points right.

DAVID: This way!

The Girl walks out of the frame to the right.

229 She enters again from the right. We hear an argument going on. She passes under an arch and looks down on a balcony below.

230 LS from above of a man arguing with a woman. I can only understand that he's saying, "De nada, nada."

231 LS of The Girl beside the large spiral tower, walking behind it. Then David enters from screen left to walk to its rear.

232 MS The Girl beside the spiral tower. David marginally is observed screen right. They sit.


THE GIRL: How can I help you?

DAVID: How can you help me? It sounds crazy because I can't explain it.


233 MCU David.

DAVID: But there is someone following me.

THE GIRL: Another one?

DAVID: No, the same man. Someone I don't wanna meet. I've bought a car. Second hand. Third hand. I'm leaving Barcelona but I have to get my things from the hotel.


234 MCU The Girl.

THE GIRL: That sounds rather easy.

DAVID (off screen): Except that he's probably waiting for me.

THE GIRL: So, you want me to get the jewels and secret documents.

DAVID: Yes.


235 MCU David, as in shot 233.

DAVID: I'll give you the keys to the car and my passport and a thousand pesetas.

236 MS of The Girl and David.

DAVID: I don't know who else to ask.

THE GIRL: Okay.


As I've stated, the tile here takes us back to the hotel registration desk in Africa.

And, next, The Girl will be at the registration desk of the Hotel Oriente.

237 A sign.

LLORE DE MAR Costa Brava Hostal Roger de Flor Andorra Hotel EDEN ROC Madrid Hotel SERRANO

A clerk enters the frame from the left and we hear The Girl speaking to him, to which he replies, "Oui, Madame". Which would indicate he believes she is married. He brings out a ledger.

238 MCU The Girl.

239 MS Martin at a bar, lighting a cigarette. He looks right screen.

240 MS the clerk speaking to the woman who is off screen.

241 MS The Girl.

242 LS of a valet handling bags for The Girl, viewed from behind Martin. They exit to the right. Martin watches.

243 The revolving door of the hotel.


Disappearances and reappearances. We don't see Martin approach the door but he suddenly appears within it and exits the hotel.

244 MS from below of the girl tipping the valet and thanking him.

MARTIN (off screen): Excuse me. Excuse me. Could I talk to you for a moment?

THE GIRL: What is it?

MARTIN (has entered screen left): I'm sorry to intrude like this, but I understand you're a friend of David Robertson.

THE GIRL: Who?

MARTIN: David Robertson.

THE GIRL: Yes, in a way. But who are you?

MARTIN: Well, I've been trying very hard to find him. I thought you might know where he was, because I gather from the hotel that these are his things.

THE GIRL: Yes.


245 MS of Martin and the girl beside a convertible, the Hotel Oriente street cafe in the background where David first saw Martin.

MARTIN: I'm sorry. My name's Martin Knight. I'm a television producer from England. I've come all the way out to talk to him, but I can't find him.

246 the girl and Martin.

THE GIRL: I see. Well, I'll take you to him.

MARTIN: Really? That would be very kind of you, thank you. I left a message for him at the Avis office, but there seems to have been some misunderstanding.

THE GIRL: I think he mentioned you. Do you mind following me in a taxi? I have to pick up somebody else with some more stuff.

MARTIN: All right. Thank you so much, that's very kind of you. I'll just get a taxi.


The girl slips into the car quickly while Martin turns to call for a taxi.

247 MS from behind Martin of a taxi pulling up. He climbs into it.

248 MS from behind the white convertible the woman now drives. She pulls away from the curb in front of the taxi. And a police officer promptly steps out and stops the taxi to let individuals cross the street. The woman in the car disappears into the distance.

249 LS of David at a bar.


Or so it seems, and then as the camera pans left we realize we were only looking at a reflection of him, the camera resting on his back as he plays with his glass, twirling it on its base on the bar.

250 MS of David from above and behind.

We see, over his head, through a window, The Girl arriving in the car outside and parking. He sees her as well and pays the bartender. He goes to meet her at the door as she enters.

DAVID: Was it difficult?

THE GIRL (shrugging her shoulders, smiling): Well...

DAVID: Thank you.

THE GIRL: Come on.


They exit, and the camera pans right for us to watch through the bar's window as they climb in the car.

251 MS of the girl in the red passenger's seat of the car from beyond David.

252 MCU of David from his right.

253 David looks back and sees the girl's blue bag in the back seat.


DAVID: Is that your suitcase?

254 The Girl.

The Girl smiles.

255 LS of the car from the front, driving down a road lined with trees.

256 MS of the girl in the back seat. The camera pans to David who looks back at her, smiling.

257 The Girl leaning forward.


THE GIRL: Can I ask you one question now?

DAVID: One, you can. Yes.

THE GIRL: Only one, always the same. What are you running away from?

DAVID: Turn your back to the front seat.


258 MS from above of The Girl with her back to the front seat. She holds out her arms in a gesture that echoes David's "flying" when in the cable car. Then she leans on the rear of the convertible.

259 CU of The Girl from behind the car, leaning on the rear, watching the passing scenery. She then sits up and we have a beautiful shot of her against the trees.

260 LS of the rear view of the trees from her POV.

261 MS from the interior of a cafe, looking out onto its patio. A man in an orange shirt enters. A blue car races by on the street left to right and the camera pans with it, stopping on The Girl and David who are seated on the patio with bottles of soda. She gestures as they talk. The camera follows then from right to left a white car with a dark hood passing on the road. Then pans left to right following a green car that passes on the road, stopping again on the couple.

This back and forth might remind of the mimes watching the tennis game at the end of Blowup.

262 Exterior, MCU of David at the table.

DAVID: I've run out of everything. (Takes off his sunglasses.) My wife. The house. An adopted child.

263 MCU The Girl.

DAVID (off screen): A successful job. Everything except a few bad habits I couldn't get rid of.

THE GIRL: How did you get away with it?

DAVID: There was an accident. Everyone thought I was dead. I let them think so.

THE GIRL: There's no way to explain it, is there?


Well, there kind of is, if he told her the truth. He had already said of his being followed, when asking her help, "It sounds crazy because I can't explain it." She now echoes this back to him.

264 MCU David.

DAVID: Now, I think I'm going to be a waiter in Gibraltar.

THE GIRL: Too obvious.


265 as with shot 263.

DAVID: Maybe a novelist in Cairo.

THE GIRL: Too romantic.

DAVID: How about a gunrunner?

THE GIRL: Too unlikely.


266 as with shot 267.

DAVID: As a matter of fact, I think I am one.

THE GIRL: Then it depends which side you're on.

DAVID: Yes. I just sold 5000 hand grenades, 900 rifles, and a great deal of ammunition to some people fighting a secret war...


267 The Girl as in shot 265.

DAVID: ... in an obscure part of the world.

THE GIRL: I like it.


268 MLS of David from behind The Girl.

DAVID: You like that one?

269 MCU of The Girl.

DAVID: You like. How about you?

THE GIRL: I'm a tourist, become a bodyguard. I'm studying architecture.

DAVID: Studying architecture.

THE GIRL: Yeah.

DAVID: What kind of an impression do you think you make...


279 MCU of David.

DAVID: ...when you first come into a room?

THE GIRL: They look at me, they think I'm all right.


271 MCU of The Girl.

THE GIRL: Nothing mysterious. You learn much more packing someone's things.

272 LS of the pair showing the whole patio.

DAVID: Yeah, it's like listening in on a private phone conversation.

273 LS of the car driving up a winding hill in a beautifully picturesque area with few trees, more hills observed in the distance. The sun is setting.

274 The car enters a parking lot of a hotel.

275 LS of David within the massive lobby area hotel, an employee approaching. We see the girl has already ascended the staircase to the second floor and stands looking out a large window at the view.


DAVID: A room.

276 The Girl advances to a balcony rail to overlook the scene.

277 The valet leads them up the stairs and to their room, The Girl and David following.

278 MCU of the valet, from behind, unlocking the door and opening it.


All three enter. David thanks him and wishes him good night in Spanish. The valet exits and shuts the door. He briefly listens to their conversation through the door. Speaking of listening to a private telephone conversation.

DAVID (off screen): How do you feel?

THE GIRL (off screen): Happy.


279 The Girl and David at a high window.

280 LS of, in the same high window, the interior now, the reflection of David and The Girl in bed together, nude. Lights on the road, seen through the window, travel down a hill toward their figures.

281 MCU of The Girl in her bathrobe, reaching into David's suitcase and picking up the gun. He takes it from her.


She takes out his appointment book. We see on the table the book that David kept from his old life as Locke. So both identities are present.

282 MCU of the girl turning to look at David dressed in a towel.

THE GIRL: That man said he was looking for David Robertson.

DAVID (picking up an orange): Who did?

THE GIRL: The man who was following you.

DAVID: What else?

THE GIRL: Nothing. (She stands.)


283 She stands against a white wall on which there are two plates, china with painted scenes.

THE GIRL: He said he was a television producer, and wanted to talk to you about a friend. That's all.

284 MS of David in his towel.

285 The Girl examines the appointment book. David steps over and kisses her.


THE GIRL: You've got a date with Melina at 3:00 on the 10th of September. Don't forget. At the Plaza de la Iglesia, San...San Ferdinando. And another next day, in a place called Osuna, with Daisy.

DAVID: Osuna.

THE GIRL: Yes, at the Hotel de la Gloria. Very picturesque, perhaps.

DAVID: I won't be there.

THE GIRL: What a pity. All these girls: Lucy, Melina, Daisy. Daisy again. Daisy seems to be your favorite.

DAVID: I think this Daisy is a man.

THE GIRL: A man?

DAVID: Yes.


286 LS of a white earthen building in Africa. We hear the camera rolling. It pans right to seated man fanning himself.

287 MS The same scene as 285. A tree with flowers in a vase before it. Daisies.

The camera pans left to a man being interviewed as David speaks.

DAVID (voice over): Yesterday, when we filmed you at the village, I understood that you were brought up to be a witch doctor.

The man glances at him from out of the corner of his eye.

288 MCU of the same man being interviewed, fanning himself.

DAVID (voice over): Isn't it unusual for someone like you to have spent several years in France and Yugoslavia? Has that changed your attitude toward certain tribal customs? Don't they strike you as false now and wrong, perhaps, for the tribe?

INTERVIEWEE: Mr. Locke, there are perfectly satisfactory answers to all your questions, but I don't think you understand how little you can learn from them. Your question...are much more revealing about yourself than my answer would be about me.

DAVID (voice over): I meant them quite sincerely.

INTERVIEWEE: Mr. Locke, we can have a conversation, but only if it's not just what you think is sincere, but also what I believe to be honest.

DAVID (voice over): Yes, of course, but...


The interviewee rises and turns the camera on David.

David reels back against the rugs behind him, taking a moment to recover his bearings. The tables turned. He, the subject. To make him aware of his own biases and how they manipulate what he sees, though he would count himself as objective and observant.

INTERVIEWEE: Now we can have an interview.

289 cut to Rachel watching the interview at Martin's studio, viewed from behind.

INTERVIEWEE: You can ask me the same questions as before.

290 MCU of Rachel from the front.

The film is cut off. We hear footsteps, a door opening.

291 Martin enters as his assistant exits.

MARTIN: Everything all right?

THE ASSISTANT: Fine, thanks. I'll see you later.

MARTIN: Okay.

RACHEL: Martin! You're back.

MARTIN: WHat luck! I've been trying to find you.

RACHEL: I want to see this again.

MARTIN: What?

RACHEL: This one.

MARTIN: What's this? (He cuts on the film.)


292 MCU of David looking uncomfortably at the camera.

MARTIN (voice over): Oh, that one.

RACHEL: What happened?

MARTIN: He disappeared.


David cuts off the camera with this, "He disappeared," as we cut back to the present.

293 MCU of Rachel from behind Martin.

RACHEL: Who, Robertson?

MARTIN: It was as though he was frightened of something.

RACHEL: Frightened.

MARTIN: Yes, I don't know why. I think we should get in touch with the embassy. They might be able to tell us something about him.


294 MS of Rachel who has sat down, Martin still standing.

RACHEL: Yes, I know.

MARTIN: What?

RACHEL: I was supposed to collect David's things from there tomorrow.


295 Residential street in the city. Rachel drives up and parks before 16/14. She honks her horn. The camera pans up and shows an embassy seal before a building.

296 An interior room with a small palm plant before a map of Africa. A man wipes his hands at a basin in a half-closet. He closes it.


EMBASSY OFFICIAL: Mrs. Locke.

Rachel ushered in, he shakes her hand and gestures for her to sit.

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: Good afternoon. Please sit down.

She takes a seat before his desk.

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: Mrs. Locke, may I offer you my government's most sincere condolences.

RACHEL: Thank you.

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: We have his things here for you. (He opens David's suitcase, closes it and takes a seat.) Now, about your inquiry. I understand you were asking about Mr. Robertson. David Alfred Robertson.

RACHEL: Yes. Can you help me? He was probably the last man to speak to my husband.


297 CU of Embassy Official.

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: Robertson is involved in illegal arms traffic in our country.

RACHEL (off screen): Arms traffic? Could he have killed my husband?

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: No. We are sure of the doctor's report. Your husband died from a heart attack.

RACHEL (off screen): Did my husband realize...


298 MCU of Rachel.

RACHEL: ...who he was?

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: I don't think so. Robertson is associated with the United Liberation Front.

299 MS of the official from behind Rachel. We see a pin-up board covered with black and white photos.

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: A rather, what shall I say, a rather radical organization. A man called Achebe. They're very troublesome people, very unintelligent.

300 CU of a photo of the president on a mantle, then pan down to the official and Rachel

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: However, Robertson has vanished.

RACHEL: But he was in Barcelona.

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: When did you contact him there?

RACHEL: Three days ago.

EMBASSY OFFICIAL: Do you plan going on looking for him?

RACHEL (hesitates before she responds): Yes.


301 MS from interior of David's office, Rachel abruptly entering in a white kimono.

She opens the case of David's film camera. Then she opens the brown leather case holding his tape recorder. Punches play.

ROBERTSON: Haven't been in London for three years now.

DAVID: Wouldn't it be better if we could just forget old places? Forget everything that happens and just throw it all away, day by day?

ROBERTSON: Unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way.


She opens his briefcase and we see one of Marais' books, a tablet of notes, a glue bottle.

DAVID: Well, it doesn't work the other way either. That's the problem. What's on the other side of the window?

DAVID: People will believe what I write. And why? Because it conforms to their expectations. And to mine, as well. Which is worse.

ROBERTSON: Well, in India, you know, they...Hey, I think your tape recorder's...


Rachel sits at David' desk with his passport.

DAVID: Yes, I must have...

ROBERTSON: ...still running, you know.

DAVID: Yeah, sorry.


The tape cuts off. The camera zooms in on the passport as Rachel opens it to the photo of Robertson.

302 MCU of Rachel, stunned.

303 CU of Robertson's photo.

304 MCU of Rachel.


We see behind her, on the packed bookshelf, a white book with the title Hearts in red lettering.

305 CU of plaque reading PLAZA DE LA IGLESIA.

Pan right to several people walking down a walkway, and then pan back left to show David and The Girl pulling up to the curb and hear the car.

With the camera panning right over the walkway and a portion of the street, and then back left, we are given the feeling that we have seen the car pull up when we haven't. Instead it is as if it appeared out of the blue. Antonioni did this kind of thing in Blowup and he has set us up for this in several earlier scenes in The Passenger. When David met The Girl at the Gaudi palace, a latter portion of the dialogue had them wandering in and out of sight behind pillars talking about appearances and disappearances and how people disappear whenever they leave a room. Then, at the cafe where they were having sodas before their first night at a hotel together, the camera panned back and forth following cars on the road, settling briefly on David and The Girl talking on the patio. Now, with their arrival at the plaza, the pan right and then pan left to bring them into the frame while they are still driving up to the curb, though we didn't actually see them arrive.

DAVID: Plaza de la Iglesia. This is it.

They drive on, disappearing behind a wall.

306 They approach two children standing on a sidewalk. One a little boy in red shorts. David stops the car.

DAVID: I should go alone from here.

The Girl gets out and David drives forward a few more feet and parks.

307 LS of The Girl walking in the shadow of a building, a man with a wheelbarrow passing. The camera panning around we see a tower with a clock that reads 1:00. David is walking away from his car, lighting a cigarette. He exits frame right.

308 David walks onto the plaza, smoking.


Though he has only been there a couple of seconds, he raises his arms in frustration and calls out to her.

DAVID: No one!

309 MS from behind The Girl, she sitting in the shadow of a building across from the plaza.

She stands and approaches David.

It is a little confusing that David was to meet the contact at 3:00 but they are there at 1:00.

And there is someone there actually. There is The Girl.

310 LS a police vehicle pulling up before the police station in a town. We see Rachel exit before our view of her is blocked by a police van pulling up behind.

311 CU of two prisoners exiting the police van and being conducted into the station past Rachel. She and several other waiting women are then permitted inside. We see now a white car pull up at the curb beyond. The two men who had grabbed Achebe exit and take a seat in a doorway beyond the police station to wait.

312 CU of an orange against the blue sky. The Girl steps into the frame and plucks it.

313 MS of The Girl walking through the orange grove. She stops near another tree and the camera pans down from her to David lying under the tree. Lying as he does, the viewer is supposed to think of the death of Robertson.

314 MS of David lying under the orange tree, The Girl standing over him.

DAVID: What the fuck are you doing here with me?

315 MCU of The Girl.

THE GIRL: Which me?

The camera pans left to David.

DAVID: The only one I know. There are no others. All the rest of that's just...

316 The Girl stands.

317 MS David rising.


DAVID: Let's go and eat. The old me is hungry.

THE GIRL: No.

DAVID: Why?

THE GIRL: Because I'm not interested in giving up. (She walks off and sits on an embankment.)


318 shot of The Girl from the dirt road below the embankment wall on which she is perched.

THE GIRL (calls back to David): I hope you make it!

She then jumps to the road and walks to the car which is parked nearby. This is the same thing she had said to David at the Gaudi palace when they were parting.

DAVID (off screen): Make it what?!

319 MS of David on the wall of the embankment.

He jumps down. She is already walking away, carrying her bag. We see dust on the road far in the background, perhaps from another vehicle.

320 LS of The Girl entering an alley that would have been unseen to the left.

321 She waves at a small van parked there, two men standing beside it.


THE GIRL: Hey!

She runs toward them. They dialogue and she climbs in the back of the little van. They pull away.

322 Shot from before the van of it traveling down the earth road through the orange grove, the convertible now behind it. David honks and the van stops and the driver gets out to talk with him, dust from their vehicles obscuring the scene.

323 The back of the small van, the girl barely seen through the dusty window.


The man and David open the van's rear doors. The Girl sits there, staring up at him.

324 MS of David looking back at her.

She exits the vehicle and thanks the driver, he replying, "De nada". Approaching the car she walks around to the driver's side then corrects herself and goes to the passenger's side.

She is less the passenger in the car than he is.

The driver closes the van doors on the camera which is within the van.

325 LS from a restaurant patio over a pool, the sea beyond. Guitar music. A man walks into the frame, reading from a sheet of paper.

326 MS David and The Girl at a table draped with a light green cloth.


DAVID: Do you believe in coincidence?

THE GIRL: I never asked myself.

DAVID: I never used to notice it. Now I see it all around. Do you know something?

THE GIRL: What?

DAVID: I saw you before.

THE GIRL: Where?

DAVID: In London.

THE GIRL: What I was doing?

DAVID: Reading.

THE GIRL: Then it must have been me.


327 LS of a woman in a red hat taking a lounger by the pool, the blue of the sea beyond. She opens a large red sheet or towel and spreads it over the lounger. The camera zooms out to show David watching.

328 MCU The Girl.


THE GIRL: What are you thinking?

DAVID: Nothing.


329 MCU of David from his right. The sound of footsteps. He looks up.

330 MS of a waiter approaching the table.


WAITER: Excuse me, senor. Is that your white car parked outside?

DAVID: Yes. Why?

WAITER: There's a policeman who is looking for the owner. Shall I tell him to come in?

DAVID: No, I'll go.


David exits. The camera zooms in on The Girl looking after him.

331 LS of David outside the restaurant, a motorcycle policeman pointing him over to his car. He goes to speak with another policeman standing beside it. He hands him the car's papers.

332 From the left side of David, the policeman before him, The Girl approaching the car also now.


David tells the policeman he doesn't understand what he's saying.

THE GIRL: He's looking for a white convertible with Madrid plates.

David asks why--por que--and the policeman responds in Spanish.

THE GIRL: He doesn't know why. He want us to go with him. I go. It's better.

She climbs in the car.

The policeman says something to David about "Usted?" You?

DAVID: Senor, are you looking for the car or the person in it?

333 MS of the girl in the driver's seat. She starts the car.

334 MS of David. He waves to The Girl as she drives off, followed by the two policemen.

335 LS of The Girl escorted down the road by the policemen.

336 Shot of the rear of the restaurant from beyond the pool. It is being cleaned out.

337 LS of The Girl entering the restaurant. She walks around and sits with David. On the outer patio section, the man is still reading from the paper.

338 MCU The Girl at the table.


THE GIRL: They're looking for David Robertson. There is a woman named Rachel Locke. She thinks he is in danger.

DAVID (camera panning to him, he stands): In danger of what?


339 A man resting on a rock before a white cross. We hear a car stop and a woman call out to him asking about Almeria. The camera pans over to the rear of the convertible. David and The Girl continue on.

If we look back when David approaches the church where the wedding takes place in Munch, we can see the white cross refers back to that. He and The Girl have also visited, earlier that day, the Plaza of the Church.

What else ties these two places together? 58. Right before going to the church in Munich, David had been to the airport and Box 58 where he had picked up the papers but had missed an appointment as he didn't recognize his contacts. What happens now? They go to Almeria, which some say may come from an Arabic word meaning, "mirror". The hotel they will go to is the Hotel Costasol, Paseo de Almeria, 58. Again, 58. It is here that his wife sees him. But first, we shall have a beautifully confusing shot in a mirror.

340 A hotel lobby. We see Rachel Locke and a boy entering who calls for her.

We see Rachel start up, and there are two boys, one of whom appears to be standing directly beside her. But it is only a reflection. She is only a reflection. The boy leaves the room as we view her rising from her chair. He crosses over into another section of the lobby calling for her. Señora Locke!

The confusion of reality and reflection should be looked at in light of the story of Locke and Robertson.

RACHEL: Yes.

BOY: Front desk.


Rachel hurries to the phone booth by the front desk.

341 The convertible pulls up a city street, a horn honking, and parks by a sign that reads SAUNA MASAJES, GIMNASIO, ALMERIA. The camera shows the reflection of the buildings in the rear hood of the car and then pans back up to show, as if, no one following them, and a tent over a restaurant's cafe by a hotel.

David and The Girl exit the car. She is no longer dressed in her lavender slacks and pink and white striped blouse. She is instead in a blue print shirt and blue slacks. David is no longer in the green shirt he was wearing at the Plaza de la Iglesia. He wears a red shirt. They were at the Plaza de la Iglesia on Monday the 10th. They are to be at Osuna on Tuesday the 11th. When we last saw them headed toward Almeria, asking the man before the white cross, how far it was, they were dressed in the attire they were wearing earlier. Now they are changed. The viewer's sense of time is never settled throughout the film except for when David is keeping an appointment, and even at the Iglesia there was confusion as he was to meet his contact at 3 but the clock over the plaza read 1 o'clock. There was also confusion at Barcelona for his appointment book read 12:00 a.m., yet he showed up at the park at noon, when 12:00 a.m. generally means midnight. That could be said to be a personal thing, that Robertson thought of 12 a.m. as noon, but then David Locke would have had to also think of 12:00 a.m. as noon as well. The fact that David's Barcelona contacts would never show up as Achebe had been kidnaped makes no difference. For I'm talking about a consistent ambiguity as to time and Antonioni adding intentional confusion. We have the same here with the change in attire which will cause the viewer to think it might be the following day, though on Tuesday is the important Hotel de la Gloria appointment.

David and The Girl enter the hotel.

342 MCU of David and The Girl at the registration desk.

DAVID: Yes. Do you have a double room for the night for myself and the young woman?

RACHEL (off screen): Did you get any other information?

DAVID: Thank you.

RACHEL: What about the embassy? Did you try them?


David hears Rachel and looks to his left.

RACHEL: What did they say?

343 MS from behind David and the Girl at the registration desk, Rachel in the open phone booth beside it. David takes The Girl's arm and exits screen right. Rachel, turning to put out a cigarette, sees them. She runs to the door, David still in sight on the sidewalk as she reaches the steps to run down them.

344 LS The white convertible races down a palm tree lined street toward the camera, swerves left up a street, nearly runs over a group of people crossing the street, swerves left again and screeches away.

345 MS Rachel, who was unable to catch them apparently, though they were parked right in front of the hotel, runs back up the steps into the hotel. The camera pans left to show the black man who is pursuing Robertson standing up from a table just to the right of the doorway. He had not been there when David and The Girl entered.

346 The convertible speeding through the edge of the city. It turns on a street leading into the countryside.

347 The convertible racing out the city, passing a red and white vehicle as a red vehicle comes toward it, the red and white vehicle followed by yet another red vehicle.

348 The convertible, from behind, speeding past a hotel.

349 The convertible drives toward a tunnel in a mountain.


And now the camera crew does something particularly odd and pulls over just before the tunnel, parking before its GRACIAS POR SU VISITA sign, as David and The Girl continue on.

We hear the siren of a pursuing police vehicle.

350 MCU from behind David and The Girl as he continues speeding away.

We hear the siren and she looks behind them, otherwise appearing nonchalant. And David as well with one arm draped on the car's door.

THE GIRL: The police.

351 Shot of the road ahead, the black and white stripes of an embankment at a curve, the rear view mirror with the police chasing, the black and white embankment reflected in the mirror.

In the mirror, we see the police catching up.

352 MCU behind David and The Girl.

David signals to the police and slows as they pass him, waving for him to pull over. The police pull over to the side of the road. David pulls in behind the police car. He waits until they step out of the car and then swerves past them and away.

353 LS of the police car coming around a curve and passing the camera, continuing down the road.

354 ad into the countryside through brush.

355 MS of the brush.


The camera pans left and rests on the convertible which comes into view, the girl sitting atop a seat, David under the car. He stands.

DAVID: There's a hole in the pan.

THE GIRL: What's that?

DAVID: It's a metal pan under the crank case. The oil all will run out. What shall we do?

THE GIRL: Well, reach the first place. Get a mechanic and repair the car. It will run?

DAVID: Hmmmm. Slowly.

THE GIRL: Isn't it beautiful here?

DAVID: Yes. It's very beautiful.


When Robertson had remarked to David, "Beautiful? Don't you think so?" David had replied he didn't know.

356 LS of the white walls of a town atop a high hill. Pan down to the convertible pulling into a lot before a lone white building at the bottom of the hill, before another curve marked with the black and white embankments.

357 LS of the exterior of the BAR FATIMA. David and The Girl enter the screen from the right and David asks if there is a mechanic.

358 A police station sign. The camera pans down to find Rachel exiting. A man follows behind her. Perhaps a detective. "Vamos," he says. They, and two officers, go to police car.

359 LS of the police car driving off down the street.

360 A man walking his bike up a dirt road at the base of a tall hill. David walks into the frame from the right.


DAVID: We can't go up there. The car won't make it. The police will come soon, I know. We better go. There's a boat leaving from Almeria to Tangiers.

THE GIRL: Listen. You can't be like that, just escaping. So keep the appointment.

DAVID: No one will be there, like the other places.


361 MCU of The Girl kneeling before David, he having sat in the passenger's seat of the car.

THE GIRL: But Robertson made these appointments. He believed in something. That's what you wanted, didn't you?

362 MCU of David from behind The Girl.

DAVID: But he's dead.

THE GIRL: But you're not.

DAVID: Okay.

THE GIRL: We can both go.


David stands.

363 MS from behind of David facing the hills. He turns to the girl.

DAVID: No. You take the bus to Almeria. Catch that boat. Go to Tangiers...

364 MCU from behind The Girl of her still kneeling by the passenger's seat.

DAVID: ...and leave a message for me at American Express.

The Girl turns and stands.

365 MCU of The Girl and David.

DAVID: I'll meet you there in three days' time if you turn up.

THE GIRL: Okay.


366 The pair kissing. We hear a bus pulling up.

THE GIRL: Take care.

She gets her bag and walks out of the frame toward the bus, the camera following. She boards the bus with a number of other people.

367 MS of David watching, the white town on the hill beyond.

368 MS of the bus pulling away and The Girl waving from the rear window. It disappears around a bend.

369 MS of David standing before a building which has earth piled up before its doors. The sign above the door reads Nuevo Almacer. He speaks to a man with a cane. The man speaks to him in Spanish.


DAVID: Closed.

The man walks with David back to the street, speaking Spanish, David thanking him. They pass by a girl blowing bubbles with her gum.

370 Another street of the town, a black dog tied up outside a home.

371 David loiters by a tree. Languid guitar music enters.

372 MS of David sitting on the curb by a home outside a window which is covered by a green blind. He kicks angrily at the dirt on the street. He picks up something out of the street.

373 CU of David inserting what seems a little red flower bud into a crack in the white plaster. He smashes it, leaving a red stain on the wall, and stands and walks away.

374 LS of David walking down the dirt street away from the town. He stops. The camera pans further down and we see the convertible where he had left it at the foot of the hill. A police car is there.

375 MS from before the car, two police standing alongside it.


Why the shot of the girl with the large bubble? Blowup. The bubble is about to pop. To blowup. The missing bullet hole and blood in the film is here, on the wall where David slams the plaster and leaves a red smear from the flower bud.


Next: The Passenger Analysis - Part Four
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