ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- Michelangelo Antonioni, one of Italy's most famous and influential filmmakers, has died at the age of 94, city officials in Rome say.
Antonioni was described as "a poet with a camera."
Considered the cinematic father of modern angst and alienation, Antonioni had a career spanning six decades which included the Oscar-nominated "Blow-Up" and the internationally acclaimed "L'Avventura" (The Adventure).
His death on Monday night followed that of Swedish film legend Ingmar Bergman, who died on Monday aged 89.
"With Antonioni, not only has one of the greatest living directors been lost, but also a master of the modern screen," said Rome mayor Walter Veltroni Tuesday. His office said it was making plans for Antonioni's body to lie in state on Wednesday.
Antonioni's deliberately slow-moving and oblique movies were not always crowd pleasers but films such as "L'Avventura" turned him into an icon for directors like Martin Scorsese, who has described him as a poet with a camera. Gallery: Antonioni's life and work »
Antonioni was born in 1912 in the northern Italian city of Ferrara. He directed his first feature, "Cronaca di un amore" ("Story of a Love Affair"), in 1950 at the age of 38.
Over the next two decades Antonioni worked with some of the greatest names in post-war Italian cinema like Marcello Mastroianni but it was not until the 1960s that he emerged on the international stage.
Despite winning favorable reviews at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival with "Il Grido" ("The Outcry") he scored his first real international success in 1960 with "L'Avventura", an exploration of the emotional sterility of modern society.
His second breakthrough picture came in 1966 with the English-language "Blow-Up," set in "swinging '60s" London, which turned him into a cult figure for moviegoers and movie makers. Many audiences found his pictures, with their long lingering shots, plodding and pretentious. Others hailed him as one of the founding fathers of European avant-garde cinema.
Next came the disappointing "Zabriskie Point" in 1970 and "The Passenger," starring Jack Nicholson, in 1975.
He continued working after suffering a paralyzing stroke in 1983. He was awarded Venice's Golden Lion in 1983 and a U.S. Academy Award in 1995 for his lifetime achievements. E-mail to a friend
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