Michelangelo Antonioni, one of Italy’s most beloved filmmakers, died yesterday at age 94, after directing 25 films over nearly 50 years. His masterpieces of alienation, known for their nearly wordless, melancholic style, included "Red Desert" and "The Passenger." Immobilized by a stroke that left him mute, he still managed to helm "Beyond the Clouds" in 1994.
Once called “a hero of the highbrows,” Antonioni helped move Italy away from the Neorealist movement, the AP reports. His challenging films often left him strapped for backers over his long career. He was also left strapped for Oscars in 1996, when a thief ran off with his best-director award for "Blow-Up." (Read more obituary stories.)