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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Criterion Release.
L'Avventura 1960

Superb Criterion Release.

L'Avventura was directed in 1960 by what many would regard now as one of the truly great directors of all time, Michelangelo Antonioni. `L'Avventura' is now regarded as being the first part in a quadrilogy of films followed by `La Notte' (1961), E'clisse (1962) and `Red Desert' (1964) all dealing with the...
Published on 15 Oct. 2006 by Nobody

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT THE CRITERION RELEASE
The reviews posted here - bar one - are either just for the film or specifically for the Criterion release of the film.
THIS IS NOT THE CRITERION RELEASE.
It is a substandard version which I have had to return because the register is actually out on the DVD I received.
BEWARE!!
Published on 10 Sept. 2012 by Creative


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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Criterion Release., 15 Oct. 2006
By 
Nobody (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
L'Avventura 1960

Superb Criterion Release.

L'Avventura was directed in 1960 by what many would regard now as one of the truly great directors of all time, Michelangelo Antonioni. `L'Avventura' is now regarded as being the first part in a quadrilogy of films followed by `La Notte' (1961), E'clisse (1962) and `Red Desert' (1964) all dealing with the themes of modern alienation and the human condition. The feature that sets `L'Avventura apart from the other three films though is that `L'Avventura still has a strong masculine, if immature and spiritually impotent, character. Later films would concentrate on the female character to a far greater extant.

L'Avventura is essentially a road movie with an objective that is not important to the film, so I won't say anything about that. What is important is that Antonioni is writing a whole new cinematic language in his use of camera angle and position within a scene, actors being filmed from behind and characters entering a scene from what would appear to be the wrong direction. The scenes and composition on the island are perhaps some of the best I've ever watched. Antonioni also uses architecture as a metaphor in many scenes and would be explored to a greater extent in his next two films `La Notte' and `E'clisse'. Saying that though, there are some Hitchcockian clichés in `L'Avventura' such as the train entering the tunnel as a metaphor for intercourse. It can sometimes be difficult for a younger audience to understand why `L'Avventura' is so important because so many of these ideas seem familiar to us now, but nothing was made like this before it. The audio commentary on this disc by film historian Gene Youngblood is an invaluable tool to a greater understanding of this films position and status in cinema history and is highly recommended. The transfer is superb and presented in 1.77:1 and enhanced for 16x 9 televisions.

L'Avventura starred Monica Vitti (E'clisse, 1962; Red Desert,1964), Gabriele Ferzetti (Once Upon A Time In The West, 1969) and Lea Massari (Mummur Of The Heart, 1971). Other similar films I would recommend are `La Dolce Vita' (Federico Felini, 1960); `Picnic At Hanging Rock' (Peter Weir, 1975) and `Paris, Texas' (Wim Wenders, 1984). `L'Avventura won the Special Jury Prize at Canne in 1960 yet still feels like a fresh and modern film and gets better every time I see it. It's in my top 5 greatest films ever made without a doubt.

Highly Recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The verismo of '60s elan and fashionable selfishness, 15 Jan. 2010
By 
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: L'Avventura - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) [DVD] (DVD)
L'Avventura is a mesmerizing and perplexing film about a short boating holiday that is interrupted when a young woman mysteriously vanishes on an empty island, forcing her lover and her best friend to search for her. A film about the dreadful carelessness that can arise where materialism and vanity are valued above human and spiritual contact. Or whatever...

Antonioni creates some absolutely beautiful shots and there is dramatic interest in the sexual tension between Claudia and Sandro as they search hopelessly for the missing Anna. At times I was reminded of Bergman, but what I like about this director is the way everything seems naturalistic and plausible, even to the extent that plot is rather slender, so if you're looking for a series of explosions and reversals, or a thrilling climax, look elsewhere.

The women and men are all rather chic, the scenes of intimacy more pleasing for being restrained, the feeling of disquiet likely to hold you captive even as you begin to doubt whether anything is going to happen. Still, clever and then original photography, impulsive characters whose behaviour perplexes as much as it fascinates, and the space and time to be thought provoking without being didactic.

Just think, if it had been a British production, it would have been a disaster, or a tasteles thriller, maybe like this one - Donkey Punch [DVD] [2008] - Gawd 'elp us!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT THE CRITERION RELEASE, 10 Sept. 2012
This review is from: L'Avventura - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) [DVD] (DVD)
The reviews posted here - bar one - are either just for the film or specifically for the Criterion release of the film.
THIS IS NOT THE CRITERION RELEASE.
It is a substandard version which I have had to return because the register is actually out on the DVD I received.
BEWARE!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars L'Avventura, 12 May 2009
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: L'Avventura - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) [DVD] (DVD)
The first in a trilogy of films about couples in a crisis, L'Avventura takes place in an Italy enjoying an economic boom. The couple in L'Avventura is made up of Monica Vitti and Gabrielle Ferzetti. Sandro (Ferzetti) is an architect ,an intellectual, as in all three films, with the story of the same couple almost. An event, the loss of Sandro's mistress(Anna),while out on islands of Aeolia,north of Sicily, precedes the coming together of Claudia (Vitti) and Sandro as new lovers. The sense of alienation and existentialist absurdity are captured by the framing of the scenes and the sense of drawn out time, and the way black and white contrasts play out over a range of greys. Feelings of love that have been around for thousands of years do not find easy accommodation in a consumerist world. The ancient vase that is found becomes broken, old fine buildings are made into a police station. All the characters look a bit lost, with the loss of middle class values. People do not relate easily to each other nor live their love affairs. Beyond the narrative, the framing captures the visual poetry of loss, the way empty spaces emerge through his compositions, the way he places actors in disharmony with their environments. His camera probes the trace of the loss on the couple's actions, within an in-between space,where things, people, close to emptiness, are about to change or events are about to turn, in this void or absence. Moving from frame to frame brings out a sense of uneasy vigilance and instability in the audience, viewing a world where feelings are adrift, where something(not nothing) is always happening on screen. His major innovation is a way of looking at things in the world. He explores states of feeling and breakdowns in communication, emptiness, alertness, vacancy,heightened awareness of others and oneself. We see bodies moving in space and a perception of the world no longer determined by a narrative framework. The thing filmed is the initial situation of loss and the echo of that loss. All Antonioni is filming(and why his films are hard to define) is what comes afterwards,the trace that's left behind. Truly a masterwork Seeing the world with new meaning.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Key work from Michelangelo Antonioni., 28 Nov. 2002
By 
Jason Parkes (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
1959's L'aventura was the film that moved Antonioni into the international realm of directors- it is far more diverting and perplexing than the later, somewhat over-rated Blow Up (1966). The story, as such, is not unlike Peter Weir's later Picnic at Hanging Rock- though there is just one disappearance here. The plot is fairly simple- people are on a cruise of the Mediterranean, Sandro and lover Anna are on it with her friend Claudia- on an island Anna vanishes, never to be found and Claudia replaces Anna as Sandro's lover.
This is a very strange film, with interesting/oblique compositions courtesy of photographer Aldo Scarvarda; L'aventura along with The Red Desert are Antonioni's finest works (later films like Blow Up & Zabriskie Point have moments and are visually stunning, but as a whole leave me cold)- and it ranks next to another oblique film of this period, Alain Resnais's L'Annee derniere a Marienbad (1961)- which is equally fantastic and a presient for modern films like Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive & Open Your Eyes. Antonioni and L'aventura may not to be your taste, but it still demands to be seen by those with an interest in cinema beyond mere entertainment...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A different type of adventure, 9 Sept. 2012
By 
Xenophon (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: L'Avventura - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) [DVD] (DVD)
In 'L'Avventura' lots happens but you keep asking yourself what relation all this has to the original story line to which we are introduced at the start. In fact it is easy to forget at the end of the film how the film began. It is in this playing with film narrative that the innovative nature of this film comes to the fore.

One is reminded of Beckett when one watches this film: there seems to be little 'logical' links between many events and happenings, between motives for characters' actions, between plotlines. In this playground of 'illogicality' the viewer, much like the audience member at a play by Beckett, is forced to give meaning to that which he sees in front of him. It is in this interactive process again that Antonioni is innovative.

'L'Avventura' is a thoughtful and thought provoking work of art that should be seen by all wanting to see how creative and glorious cinema can be.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good buy for the money, 21 Sept. 2011
By 
If you are in Europe (region 2) and you want to watch the superb Criterion release of l'Avventura there is no other choice left...
You'll be missing the second Criterion disc containing an interesting 58-minute documentary by Gianfranco Mingozzi, but overall it is a good buy. What to say about the movie? For me it was a revelation! L'avventura is a quintessential work in exploring the difficulties of relationships, and it gets better and better with repeat viewings. Moreover, l'Avventura has for the first time blurred the boundaries between sculpture, film, architecture, video art, and painting.
I don't agree with all the crappy reviews stating that nothing happens in this movie. You must go beyond the superficial meaning. It's not easy, but it's well worth trying. Believe me!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vitti shines,,,, 14 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: L'Avventura - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) [DVD] (DVD)
She is a true star of the Italian classic cinema. Monica Vitti and the films she made with the great Antonioni are all on my shelf however this one and L'eclisse are on my wishlist for a BD reissue by MoC. I shall ask them. But for now i am glad with those sheer beautiful DVD releases. The story ? Well it is about a group of friends ending up on an island and one woman dissapears and the search for her. Some find this story dull but i found it intriguing and fascinating. And yes Vitti off course. She shines,,,
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4.0 out of 5 stars Korean Half-Criterion Release, 10 April 2013
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Although the cover looks like American Criterion release, if you look closer, you'll see Korean characters on it. In fact, this consists of the first DVD of the double DVD Criterion edition: remastered image (over 7 GB), critical commentary on the film in English, English (and Korean) subtitles. If one is not that interested in the additional material on the second DVD of the Criterion release, one should go for this one - the quality is the same.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ABJURE IDIOSYNCRATIC ITALIAN DELIGHT, 26 Oct. 2009
This review is from: L'Avventura - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) [DVD] (DVD)
The Antonioni classic that surrounds a casual rich cruise adventure on an off shore Italian island is an in-depth observation of human selfishness ,corruption and total contempt of loyalty as perceived in human relationships by the protagonists themselves .

The afternoon fracas that ensues as an 'upper middle class' party of jaded and smug Italians, all in a piquant and selfless abandon set out on a 'yacht tour' to amuse their existential boredom and redundant lifestyles ,filled with a vacuous discontent is as devoid of mystery as it is of any traditional cinematic structure ,and that is the whole ingenious charm of this Italian drama mystery that refreshingly refuses to become a mystery thriller .

Amongst these feckless characters are 'Anna' and 'Carlos' ,two lovers on the brink of a possibly 'doomed love affair', sulking in frustration from their own exhumed expectations of their failure, and they are accompanied by Anna's best friend 'Claudia 'and two other fashionably trendy pseudo-intellectual couples 'who all are replete with typical 'dysfunctional sexual relationships' yet they all seem to be somewhat non chalant about their emotional detachment ,as this is a 'natural occurrence' rather than anything to bother their highbrow sensitivities .

The volcanic and craggy island where they roam and indulge in their capricious adventure soon turns into a deadly nightmare as Anna disappears without a trace ,while the rest of the cast are involved in their own redundant and bizarre 'social conversations' about 'trivial incidents' in a nonchalant indifference to each other and the missing woman .

The mystery is exaggerated with a thorough wasted search by Anna's father and the 'coast guard' along with every authority possible, but Anna seems to have vanished into thin air ,and the script never gives any clues as to what might have ensued on the isle ,as the disappearance of this mysterious young beautiful woman who is involved in a thoroughly disastrous affair with a handsome man; clearly a profligate adventurer,becomes a "classified misadventure " with as many posasibilities as you can conjure about her fate .

Six months later we find Carlos and Claudia engaged in a lustful affair ,while Anna is almost forgotten and mentioned casually as if she had never existed ,while this sensual extravaganza is being played out the character of Carlos is examined in some meticulously glib and peculiar details by the script and his fickle morality is revealed by his aimless degeneracy and some other intriguing events ,but the movie just observes without any judgments and the 'amourous adventures'remain just a riddle, for the viewer to infer their own conclusions .

The script is rendered without any clues leaving every possibilty open and yet the disappearance of Anna is not something that bothers either of her two closest friends who might feel uncomfortable with their own 'unfaithful affair 'in her absence but it is never an issue that is raised other than in cursory conversation .

Antionioni has designed the movie with a haunting metaphorical 'landscape and architetural' imagery, where vicarious human dynamic forms move against natural terrain and architectural visions of intense beauty in shots of the fascinating Italian panorama,which is designed almost to perfection ,but he is leaving all the conclusions of this cinematic wizardry to his audience with a script that is as silent about who was Anna ,for she could be anywhere and nowhere and yet that is treated as of no importance .

This is ground breaking cinema and ubiquitous in it's vision of art that is both obscure yet profoundly wise,it does not judge but rather observes without making any obvious comments .

The mystique of the movie has intensified with time and age and the cinematography and landscape with the ;rugged coastlines' and 'baroque urbane facades' fascinates the beholder with the "dubious and grey characters" and their surreal existence, yet the intricate dialogue is enough to give you some clues and material to analyse these characters in light of human psyche and compare it to the basic primal human instincts, drawing your own conclusions from this masterly sedate adventure which never concludes itself but haunts you in wanton fascination ,but whether these judgements are needed from audience itself is another debate in itself .

The fact it ends in an open conclusion where there are no savants or 'mystery maidens' and the characters end up mocking themselves in their discontent is a very rueful rumination on the randomisation of human relationships .

The script maintains it's emotional detachment from the beginning to the end and it reveals itself in structureless composition to the viewer thus not inferring any innuendoes from the director .

The fact this 'non mystery' is an arbitrary reactionary orchestration of the 'missing woman'phenomena of the traditional cinema makes this a unique post-mortem of Art itself, just as it refuses to indulge in the extrication of 'loose ends 'which might render some viewers frustrated but it makes for a fascinating experience in delving into the profound mysteries of intricate and complex human behaviour .
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L'Avventura - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) [DVD]
L'Avventura - (Mr Bongo Films) (1960) [DVD] by Michelangelo Antonioni (DVD - 2008)
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