What is it about?

My article explores the origins of the fairytales in Michelangelo Antonioni’s screenplay for the film Red Desert (1964) in relation to “L’aquilone” (1982), a book which Antonioni co-wrote with screenwriter and poet Tonino Guerra. It also points out which fairytale aspects of “L’aquilone” are still present in the film itself in connection with the tale of the girl on the island.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

This is the very first article that explores the connection between the fairytale “L’aquilone” and the film Red Desert. It shows the genesis of the screenplay for Red Desert which initially did not include the tale of the girl on the island but only “L’aquilone” which was eventually crossed out and not filmed.


The research I conducted to write this article involved several visits to Michelangelo Antonioni’s archive in Ferrara and Tonino Guerra’s association in Pennabilli from 2016 to 2019. This article would not have been possible without my friendships with Lora Guerra, Tonino Guerra’s old time friend Luigi “Gigi” Mattei, and Professor Valentina Galli. I truly wrote this article with my whole heart. I promised Lora that I would have brought Tonino’s art across the ocean to encourage people to dive into his infinite magic.

Marianna Nespoli
University of California Los Angeles

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Weaving hope: Tonino Guerra, fables and utopian holism in Red Desert, Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, January 2023, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/jicms_00157_1.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page