Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
A strange visitor in a wealthy family. He seduces the maid, the son, the mother, the daughter and finally the father before leaving a few days after. After he's gone, none of them can ... See full summary »
Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband's estate, a contract which extends ... See full summary »
The setting is Vienna. A young American woman is brought to a hospital after overdosing on pills, apparently in a suicide attempt. A police detective suspects foul play on the part of her ... See full summary »
A group of rich Italians head out on a yachting trip to a deserted volcanic island in the Mediterranean. When they are about to leave the island, they find Anna, the main character up to this point, has gone missing. Sandro, Anna's boyfriend, and Claudia, Anna's friend, try without success to find her. While looking for the missing friend, Claudia and Sandro develop an attraction for each other. When they get back to land, they continue the search with no success. Sandro and Claudia proceed to become lovers, and all but forget about the missing Anna. Written by
During its notorious first showing at Cannes, one scene in particular drew specific derision. It is the scene when Monica Vitti rushes down a corridor looking for someone. Audience members were repeatedly shouting "Cut" during this lengthy scene. See more »
During the sequence in which Sandro and the newspaper reporter cross a street, the shadows of the camera and the crew are clearly and prolongedly visible on the actors and on the street surface. See more »
Why should we be here talking, arguing? Believe me Anna, words are becoming less and less necessary; they create misunderstandings.
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A high-period, celebrated Antonioni film about which I remain ambivalent; admiring but disengaged. Location and cast look exquisite in the b&w photography, particularly the striking principals Gabriele Ferzetti (Sandro) and Monica Vitii (Claudia). L'Avventura starts off as a mystery thriller but then Antonioni careful unravels expectations making the solipsistic experiences of the friends searching for the missing Anna (Lea Massari, perfectly beautiful, offhand and distracted) the burgeoning content of the film. There are his trademarks symbols and motifs - the film is filled with bells marking arbitrary points in time or calling to one another mournfully and artist's materials, like paint and ink, are ever-present when young men feel their testosterone rise.
Indeed the film explores temporality - the sense of temporary worth, exposed when young and old come into contact. Antonioni's achievement in this film - which I found rather long and whimsical, although ultimately focused and consistent - is that young and old, men and women, working or moneyed class are found to be fragile and in need to one another's support and love. The disappearance of Anna at the outset of the film is a symbol all of itself, not fully-fledged magic realism but a suggestion of what is intrinsic to the film (as well as important and precious dramatic element!). The film revolves around the absent Anna like moths about the flame. Buildings, islands, photographs, vases, people, marriages even hotels that exist seem to run the course of their usefulness or even interest besides the one thing notable by its absence.
Trying to create a narrative that discusses these tensions, built around someone who isn't there, is a tough assignment. It only works if the audience are prepared to follow Antonioni, who subverts a genre (the thriller) in which the audience spend the opening half hour absorbing dramatically inert exposition. Nonetheless, Antonioni's real target is well-explored in the pure vernacular of cinema, the image which are well-composed, beautifully realised and formally satisfying. 5/10
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