Inspired by the life of iconic photographer David Bailey (whose work infamously helped turn Reggie and Ronnie Kray into celebrities), the Italian master Michelangelo Antonioni’s venture into London explored the very idea of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ and the media fascination with celebrity. As is often the case, it took an outsider to dig into the seediness of the whole scene that was otherwise being glamourised by the British press.
Filming on location in the city, residents will be able to identify numerous locations such as The Spike, Heddon Street and Maryon Park, where the movie’s famous murder takes place. Long before tabloid culture in the UK really took off to become the beast it is now, Blowup examines the idea of privacy, the idea of celebrity and voyeurism. The film also features cameos from 1960s rock band The Yardbirds, where Jeff Beck famously smashes his guitar in anger in the manner of The Who’s Pete Townsend because Antonioni was fascinated by Townsend’s actions on stage.