L'AVVENTURA (1960) B/W widescreen 145m dir: Michelangelo Antonioni
w/Monica Vitti, Gabriele Ferzetti, Lea Massari
Director Antonioni's studied, perceptive film about empty relationships in an unfeeling world. This is a theme that runs all through Antonioni's work. Notice, particularly, how the characters are placed within backgrounds that emphasize their isolation. Story superficially concerns the disappearance of a young woman and the search for her by her lover and her best friend. The slow pace of the film contributes to its overall impact.
From Georges Sadoul's Dictionary of Films : "Antonioni has characterized his film: 'I have been struck by the fragility of human relationships, by the moral, political and even physical instability of the modern world in which the physical becomes the metaphysical and in which the frontier between science and science fiction hardly exists. Every day we live an adventure , ideological or sentimental. Our drama is non-communication and it is this feeling that dominates the characters in my film, which I preferred to set in a rich environment because feelings there are not dependent on material circumstances. These men and women who try to live normal lives but who encounter so many difficulties that they are unable to avoid the final catastrophe. The film is as much optimistic as it is pessimistic. In the final image, the man is facing the wall and the woman facing outwards into space. They remain bound by resignation, pity, tolerance, the remainder of their vital burden. I wanted to show Sicily without folkloric affectations, the country as it is, as naturally as possible, but in relation to the characters and their anguish.' ... Antonioni was in difficult straits after completing this film. It was badly received in Italy and was jeered and whistled at during the Cannes Festival. However, it did obtain a Jury Award and later was a great success in Paris and elsewhere, a success that established Antonioni's international reputation."