Customer Reviews


42 Reviews
5 star:
 (30)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literally Dazzled
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...
Published on June 16 2004 by R. A Rubin

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great work, if you can stand the slow pace
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...
Published on Nov. 16 2002 by Zev Bazarov


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literally Dazzled, June 16 2004
By 
R. A Rubin (Eastern, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great film with beautiful imagery, June 14 2004
By 
Ted "Ted" (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, beautiful, but not completely successful for me - at least on first viewing, April 29 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Great work, if you can stand the slow pace, Nov. 16 2002
This review is from: L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Theory, or just melodrama?, Oct. 19 2002
By 
Robert Bezimienny (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) (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. Cryptically, he asserts this insulates metonymy from being taken as 'symbolism'. Is his case convincing? Characters pass through untold archways and doors and corridors in 'L'Avventura', and lovers even lie on a grassy foreground as a steaming locomotive rushes into a dark cutting - whatever the 'metonymical' force of such images, they also appear crudely symbolic (don't they?). The film does rely on symbolism, not always eloquently, and that it does helps to explain its 'abstract' quality.
*
The emotional world of the film is said to be that of ennui and alienation. Sandro, the male lead, is particularly vacuous - but we know this from standard narrative devices: in dialogue he tells of his avarice winning out over artistic ambitions; he neglects women, as per his month-long absence from Anna, and from his subsequent actions; his facial expressions are bereft of depth (so much so it's tempting to simply label Gabriele Ferzetti a poor actor, although it's more interesting to compare his function with that of Rock Hudson in Sirk's melodramas). The composition and framing help, sure, but his inner emptiness is obvious in any case. Monica Vitti's Claudia, likewise, demonstrates her inner confusion through her behaviour - the plot, while rudimentary, reveals her character all too traditionally - here is a woman whose best friend has either died or gone missing on account of an emotional crisis, and within days she succumbs to the sexual allure of her friend's erstwhile lover, a rich, handsome and shallow man. Gene Youngblood calls this 'romantic', but melodramatic might be more apposite. He goes on to say that Claudia and Sandro share in one of the cinema's greatest romances! This is misguided hyperbole. Neither Claudia, nor Sandro, possess the range of emotion or experience to viably function as an everywoman or everyman. They are grotesquely stunted human beings. To universalise from these (un)emotional lives is problematic. Any 'insights' gained are thus limited in scope, and less profound than they wish to be.
*
The choice of such shallow characters may provide difficulties for formal characterisation, plot, and for audience empathy, but it might also facilitate Antonioni's theoretical intentions - after all it is easier to render Sandro's limited palette of emotions through 'objectification', than it would be Hamlet's.
*
At one level the beauty of the cinematography and composition is undeniable. Yet even here I feel other directors outdo Antonioni - for example, Satyajit Ray, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Eisenstein, and Dreyer. I disliked the very limited range of grey that fill so many frames of earth and sky and sea - intentional, perhaps, but not altogether beautiful. At times I found myself wishing he'd filmed in colour, something I never wished for with the other directors cited. The composition too contained a kind of compromised beauty. At times it seemed too artificial and too repetitive, so that it was in danger of being formulaic. In contrast, Ray's wonderful compositions feel organic and less contrived.
*
In sum, it seems reasonable to agree with the film's detractors as well as with its champions. A flawed work of art, but an extremely interesting one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD package of One of Cinema's Greatest Landmarks, Aug. 5 2002
By 
Stephen McLeod (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
L'Avventura is many things. But it is first of all a work of near despair. Like Antonioni's other masterpieces of the period (Il Grido, La Notte), L'Avventura is about the impossibility of relationship and the imbreachable solitude of the individual. Just as importantly, it is an intensely visual movie: it is about what is seen, what it means to see, to search, to witness.
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars "L'Avventorment. . .", June 5 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Lavventura (VHS Tape)
"After finishing L'Avventura, I was forced to reflect on what the film meant." -director Michelangelo Antonioni.
This is the greatest film about adult romantic relationships ever made. Every topic is touched on: infidelity, jeaslousy, male preoccupation with sex, female preoccupation with resistance, the urgency of love, and the futility ("why,why,why,why...") Is there a better? Perhaps I am underinformed.
And the sheer beauty! My God, it's enough to make you forget the plot. For picturesque rocky islands and splashing surf, this must be the Ansel Adams of Palermo. This is not to mention the rest of the film. As a friend of mine said, every frame could be in a book of modern photography. Antonioni knows how to frame his shots.
Enough, please, of this film being 'Boredom Personified.' Woe to those who are thoughtless enough to resist assimilating its message. This is not a film for children - or the childish. This film is partly about the psychological issues of love and romance in the modern industrial age. It is partly about keeping the difficulties thereunto connected, in proper perspective. Those who hold such an exercise as tedious, are advised to go back to the mall.
Yet, "For those who wish to listen, it will have a value beyond words."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME DVD, June 5 2002
By 
E. Dolnack (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
This is the Criterion Collection at their best, and director Michelangelo Antonioni at his best! This transfer is breathtaking it's so clean. It's difficult to imagine that a 40+ year old film could look so good today. The film is presented in a shallow 1.85:1 widescreen format and is in black and white dual-layer.
There is a brilliant commentary soundtrack, which comes-in quite handy. Listening to the commentary while watching this film shows just how detail-oriented director Antonioni was. Almost every scene, every prop has meaning and importance, and once you know what they are, you'll see just how brilliant this movie is.
They truly don't make movies like this anymore! The scenery is implicit, the photography is fabulous, the cinematography is worthy of Kubrick himself! (The women actors are gorgeous too).
The story is diliberately empty and void, and once you understand that, you'll see why the film feels the way that it does and you too will be haunted forever by it's beautiful vision.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars An adventure in moviemaking., March 27 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
Monumentally influential film from 1960, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. A disaffected group of idle, rich Italians take a cruise to the volcanic islands south of Sicily. After they pause at one of the islands, one of their number, a beautiful young woman named Anna, suddenly vanishes. Her lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and her best friend (Monica Vitti) scour the island for the missing girl -- no trace. Like any man in his right mind, Ferzetti's character Sandro almost immediately finds himself attracted to Vitti's Claudia -- she's taken aback at first, but only on a superficial level. The movie then chronicles the search for missing Anna -- and the burgeoning affair between Sandro and Claudia -- back in Italy. The rest you can see for yourself. What *L'Avventura* did for cinema was to shine light on the interiors of the human heart in a way that movies had been afraid to attempt before. The obvious charge one can lay against Antonioni's masterpiece is that it's slow and dull for that very reason -- a film character thinking about something doesn't exactly constitute action-packed cinema. Do understand that this movie is not for all tastes . . . but if you're reading this review, you're probably already curious and are considering buying the movie, to which I say, Take the plunge. *L'Avventura* is about ennui in our modern life -- ennui in our personal lives, ennui in our professional lives. Go ahead, snicker. It's easy to dismiss the subject as pretentious. Perhaps it IS pretentious -- but can you really deny the relevance of the subject matter? Can any man -- deep down in his heart of hearts -- not identify with Sandro, an overgrown boy unhappy in love and work? Can any woman not be impressed with Claudia's inner growth from shallow party-girl at the beginning of the movie to the Rock of Gibraltar she evolves into at the end? *L'Avventura* is a grown-up masterpiece for grown-ups. [Criterion furnishes us with an immersive experience for this movie. You get the brilliant transfer, of course, but you also get instructive commentary from critic Gene Youngblood, from which I certainly learned a lot. The second disc features a documentary about Antonioni made in the mid-60's -- it's very French, very pretentious, and very interesting. It also includes Jack Nicholson, of all people, reading Antonioni's mid-life-crisis screed against traditional morality, another essay in which the director displays a hilarious contempt for the utility of actors in film, and finally some personal recollections from Jack himself, who good-naturedly puts the intellectual director firmly back into place. This whole package is well worth the money, if what I've described is up your alley.]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the price for the commentary alone, March 3 2002
By 
Joren R. Cain (Valdosta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I saw this film the first time without commentary, obviously, and was really taken aback by it. Everything that has already been said on here about the beautiful images in every frame, and the freshness of approach, etc., I agree with completely. Viewing it from a "normal" movie-watching perspective, the story is very interesting, but a little slow; I probably would have given it four stars. But the entirley new perspective and enthusiasm that is provided by Gene Youngblood's commentary really elevated the film to a higher level for me. The film definitely stands on its own as a great work of art, but the Criterion edition helped me to adjust to Antonioni's style and language much quicker. A great film, transfer, special edition, and commentary. This is well worth the cost if you're looking for something interesting and new. I know this isn't the most helpful review, but I just wanted to add another positive vote for "L'Avventura."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xafcbe75c)

This product

L'avventura (The Criterion Collection)
L'avventura (The Criterion Collection) by Michelangelo Antonioni (DVD - 2002)
CDN$ 42.99
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews