The Passenger

For the provocative questions it asks about identity and brute force, David Cronenberg's A History of Violence is the best movie of the year so far. That's what makes the rerelease of Michelangelo Antonioni's 1975 landmark, The Passenger, such a well-timed companion piece. The script, co-written by Antonioni and Peter Wollen, focuses on a TV journalist (a superb Jack Nicholson) who steals the identity of a dead man and embarks on a new life, only to find violent surprises on his trail. Antonioni and Cronenberg differ greatly as stylists, but their shared gift for expressing the comfort and agony of dislocation is uncanny.

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