Tributes have been paid to Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni, the director of the iconic 1966 movie thriller Blow-Up, who has died aged 94.

The news came the day after the death of renowned Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

Legend David Bailey – who is said to have been the photographer upon whom Blow-Up?s star character is loosely based – told Amateur Photographer: ?It is sad to lose two great directors in one week.?

Antonioni is credited as one of the most innovative and distinctive film makers of the 20th century.

The actual photographs shown in Blow-Up were captured by renowned war photographer Don McCullin.

Last year, never-before-showcased-images taken during the making of the film were revealed for an exhibition at the Photographers? Gallery in London, to mark the 40th anniversary of the making of the movie (see AP’s news article pictured below).

Described as the definitive ?Swinging London? film ? Blow-Up starred the late actor David Hemmings who plays a fictitious fashion photographer called Thomas.

In the movie the photographer captures a sequence of images in an east London park and ? on examination of his film – realises that the furtive behaviour of his subjects conceals a secret.

His suspicion grows when he spots a detail in a photograph of what appears to be a body. However, the more he enlarges the image the more blurred and indecipherable it becomes and the photographer begins to wonder whether he has witnessed and recorded a murder.

Antonioni was born in 1912, beginning his film career in 1939 after writing film reviews for his local newspaper Il Corriere Padano.

He once reportedly said: ?If I hadn?t become a director I would have been an architect or maybe a painter. In other words, I think I?m someone who has things to show rather than things to say.?

Antonioni started out making documentaries and Blow-Up was to become his first English-language movie.

He suffered a stroke in 1985 which left his partially paralysed and largely unable to speak, but returned to film-making ten years later.

In 1995 he was presented with an Academy Award for lifetime achievement.

Michelangelo Antonioni’s funeral is expected to take place in his birthplace Ferrara, northern Italy tomorrow (Thursday).

Picture credits: Arthur Evans for MGM’s Blow-Up (courtesy Philippe Garner)

Still photo from the making of the movie Blow-UpStill photo from the making of the movie Blow-Up

Picture below: AP’s 3 June 2006 news article focusing on the never-before-showcased-images taken during the making of Blow-Up which were revealed for an exhibition at the Photographers? Gallery in London

Blow-Up pictures revealed