L'avventura (The Criterion Collection)
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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, LAvventura 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 LAvventura so unpredictable is the high level of realism portrayed by each character and their environments. This isnt 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. LAvventura is quintessential Antonioini. Not to be missed. --Rob Bracco
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
L'Avventura is not a hard film to watch. Some may find it slow. I did not, but that said, I wasn't crazy about it on first viewing. But I couldn't stop thinking about it and re-feeling the sensations created by the visual affect of the film. The second time I watched it, I fell in love. Then I watched it with the excellent commentary on this DVD. I've sinced watched it about eight times.
And then there's Monica Vitti. I mean everybody's great in this movie, but Monica Vitti is a revelation from God. It is no accident that she - who doesn't start out as, but becomes the film's central character - is also the designated witness to everything the film wants to show us. In other words, she witnesses it first, and we witness it through her eyes.
The DVD package is excellent. Criterion is really improving it's DVD offerings. Disc 2 is not all that. I mean I could have lived without it. But it's got a lot of material that some will no doubt find enormously interesting. What I loved is disc number 1: the transfer, the extraordinary commentary, the sound, it's all good.
Most recent customer reviews
This is possibly the most beautiful yet boaring film in history. I could not stand this movie. The acting was so terrible and I had no interest in the characters whatsoever. Read morePublished on Dec 17 2003 by Antonio Giusto
May 2002: I purchase Roger Ebert's book THE GREAT MOVIES. Order the dozen or so I haven't seen to get caught up (so to speak).
December 2002: "L'Avventura" arrives. Read more
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,... Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2002 by Zev Bazarov
I had a moving experience once. I was riding on a train (actually, it may have been half way between F and S) and we were going through some low mountain/valley situation, and... Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2002 by Cold Bacon
"After finishing L'Avventura, I was forced to reflect on what the film meant." -director Michelangelo Antonioni. Read morePublished on June 5 2002
This is the Criterion Collection at their best, and director Michelangelo Antonioni at his best! This transfer is breathtaking it's so clean. Read morePublished on June 5 2002 by E. Dolnack
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