By Tim Purtell
Updated May 09, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

In The Passenger, Michelangelo Antonioni and writer Mark Peploe take a thriller premise — burnt-out journalist (Jack Nicholson) on assignment in Africa assumes a deceased gunrunner’s identity — and bleed it of thrills, fashioning instead an enthralling existential reverie. EXTRAS Nicholson and Peploe offer wildly different recollections of how the climactic seven-minute single take was achieved: The star drily claims the hotel was built from scratch and the entire structure split to allow the camera to glide through, while Peploe (correctly) says just the bars on the window were parted.