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L'avventura (The Criterion Collection)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari, Dominique Blanchar, Renzo Ricci
  • Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, Tonino Guerra
  • Producers: Amato Pennasilico
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005BHW6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,074 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

A girl mysteriously disappears on a yachting trip. While her lover and her best friend search for her across Italy, they begin an affair. Antonioni's penetrating study of the idle upper class offers stinging observations on spiritual isolation and the many meanings of love. Criterion is proud to present this milestone of film grammar in a new Special Edition double-disc set.


Considered by many to be his masterpiece, L’Avventura positioned Michelangelo Antonioni as an international talent. What appears to be a search for a missing person is actually an examination of alienation and self-discovery found along a voyage through the morally decadent world of the idle rich. Less concerned with a smooth plotline, Antonioni tells his story through the use of symbolic images and flawless character development. Using 'real time’ camera shots and rich, landscape imagery, Michelangelo Antonioni creates an unpredictable world where nothing is ever resolved. Ironically, what makes L’Avventura so unpredictable is the high level of realism portrayed by each character and their environments. This isn’t your packaged, formulaic film with a happy ending. A tough one to watch but well worth it...and it gets better and better with repeat viewings. L’Avventura is quintessential Antonioini. Not to be missed. --Rob Bracco

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ted on June 14 2004
Format: DVD
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
Michaelangelo Antonioni's "L'Avventura" also known as "The Adventure" or "The Fling" is hailed as a masterpiece by many critics.
In the film, a group of people go on a yachting trip in the Mediterranean sea. Later, a woman in the group disappears and they begin a fruitless search. One woman helps the vanished girl's boyfriend search for her, but they soon forget about searching and fall in love with each other.
My cousin, who is half Italian says that the subtitles on this edition are word-for-word unlike older copes of the film.
The cinematography is excellent and I agree with the statement made in the supplements about each indivudual frame being worthy of use as a photograph.
The special features on the DVD are good also. On the first disc is the actual film with optional audio commentary by Gene Youngblood. The second disc has a theatrical trailer, a restoration demonstration, a 58-minute documentary on the director, and audio of actor Jack Nicholson narrating writings by the film's director, Michaelangelo Antonioni, plus Jack Nicholson's recollections on working with Antonioni on the film "The Passenger" made in 1975
Fans of Italian cinema will surely love this release and many others would like it also.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. A Rubin on June 16 2004
Format: DVD
Monica Vitti is very blonde, very classy, pretty. She wore her Jackie Kennedy dresses with grace. The black and white photography of her white-dot suit literally dazzled. The scene where the Sicilian men stand about Monica (Claudia) like the scenes in Hitchcock's "Birds" made me very uncomfortable. The background is Italian Neo-Realism, rocks, sand, and the juxtaposition of old Italian Architecture, art, and communist style people's housing, empty and lifeless; I confess I drank about 2 bottles of water, more than my viewing of "Lawrence of Arabia." What happened to Anna on that volcanic island? Weird, L'Avventura (1960) is ranked on many cinema lists anywhere from #1 to #10.
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Format: DVD
A film I need to see again, and wouldn't be surprised to love more on repeated viewings. I appreciate Antonioni's magnificent framing and images, his bravery with unconventional plotting; (e.g. having his true 'main character' disappear 10 minutes in). It's legendarily slow pace didn't bother me at all, but I did find the insights into the characters, how empty and desperate they are somewhat repetitive over time. I'll admit to moments of feeling 'yeah, I got it already'.

Antonioni brilliantly uses lonely landscapes to show how isolated these people are. But some of the performances didn't thrill me (there's a key difference between playing a shallow character and being a shallow actor, and it sometimes seems confused here).

It stayed a very intellectual experience - an essay about the lack of humanity in the upper classes beautifully illustrated. But it seemed so removed and exaggerated, even from my own comfy existence, that I found I wasn't moved on a deeper level.

That said, all these same criticisms could be aimed at 'Barry Lyndon', a film I have come to love deeply on repeated viewings. Like that film, I suspect I'll see much more next time I watch it. The telling thing is I find myself anxious to re-see it, in spite of it's challenges.
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Format: DVD
This film is hailed as a masterpiece, and I agree the direction, cinematography, acting, and the concepts and ideas portrayed are very good, but the film moves at such a slow pace, for so long, it becomes quite boring. I found myself waiting anxiously just to arrive at the end of the film. The film compared to others, isn't actually that long, but because of the slow pace, it feels that way. I feel the story could have been changed to add some fresh material to quicken it up a little, but still keep the same issues on screen.
The film begins as Anna, her boyfriend Sandro, and her good friend Claudia go on a trip in a yacht with their friends. Anna is afraid to loose Sandro, but she wants time alone, as she cannot seem connect with him anymore. Soon Anna is found to be missing, and they all search for her, Sandro and Claudia spending more time with each other. Sandro falls in love with Claudia but she does not accept him. After a while, she does, and they forget all about Anna. The rest of the film shows their relationship, and how quickly and paradoxically our opinions and feelings can change.
The characters are empty, they feel nothing. All they trick themselves to believe they are feeling is just an illusion. They do not understand themselves, and as a result they do not understand their relationships. Their emptiness is well portrayed, as is their selfishness. The acting is well done, and directing is superb. When this film was released in 1960 it was very influential. There are no real happy moments in this film. There is some romance but it is all for the characters to gain for themselves, it is not true love. If these situations interest you, and you can stand extremely slow, and long films, you may want to check this out. But I feel this is too overrated. 3 stars.
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Format: DVD
The virtues of this film feel overstated. Notably, its alleged innovations seem more like evolutions or, not always successful, exaggerations of existing techniques. Also, its insights into human emotion seem less profound than its pretensions; and its beauty, while ultimately undeniable, has an artificial and less than celebratory quality.
the film renders its characters' inner worlds largely through objectification in the outer world - that is, not simply through the characters' actions, but through the choice of the natural and built environment that frames them, and through the very framing itself. This technique was not revolutionary, but when coupled with Antonioni's use of extended takes, and the audience's consequent confrontation with cinematic time where 'not much happens', and with his diminution of other traditional cinematic effects, such as music, the experience might stand as unprecedented. But is it effective? Can the background settings and the compositional arrangement of figures within the frame, alone, serve to unveil the inner emotional states of the characters with any perspicacity? While 'L'Avventura' makes a brave case, I think it ultimately falls short. One reason perhaps being its failure to acknowledge that dialogue, action, plot are still doing a tremendous amount of work in the film, work which it pretends is being shouldered by more 'subtle' elements.
The Criterion edition has an illuminating commentary by Gene Youngblood - he is a self-confessed advocate of Antonioni, and he sees innovation in the use of 'metonymy' rather than 'metaphor' - this distinction he draws as follows: a part of an object stands for the whole of the same object, rather than for an altogether different object or concept.
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