Half a dozen documentary shorts made by Michelangelo Antonioni between 1947 and 1953, these are mainly the “apprentice” works of the greatest living Italian filmmaker, though no less impressive and commanding for all that; the only conventional and fairly forgettable one is the last in the program, The Villa of Monsters (1950)—to be shown, unlike the others, only with French and German subtitles. Perhaps the most significant stylistic trait to be found in most of the work here is the pan suddenly linking foreground with background, the animate with the inanimate. The other films are People of the Po (1947), Street Cleaners aka N.U. (1948), and my three favorites: Superstition (a perfect subject for Antonioni given his feeling for omens) and Lies of Love (a somewhat sarcastic look at fumetti, Italy’s live-action comic books), both made in 1949, and Antonioni’s remarkable and disturbing episode from the anthology Love in the City (1953), “Suicide Attempt.”’ A group of women, responding to an eerily unseen male questioner, are persuaded to recount and partially reenact their attempted suicides. The ambiguous and complex interplay here between objectivity and subjectivity, fact and fiction—as in one chilling moment when a 19-year-old woman lying on her bed unconvincingly pretends to slit her wrist, then suddenly shows us the scar left by her genuine suicide attempt—seems decades ahead of its time.