Country: Italy, France
Language: Italian, English
Genre: Drama, Mystery
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Music: Giovanni Fusco
Cinematography: Aldo Scavarda
Dorothy De Poliolo
Firstly, let me count how many Antonioni’s films I have seen so far, Eros (2004), Zabriskie Point (1970), Blow-Up (1966), La Notte (1961), so L’avventura is the fifths.
I respect Antonioni, one of the greatest Italian director, and after 5 minutes of the film, I have a hunch that I would fall in love with this one when I see the protagonists are on their way to an unknown island, but sadly the truth turns out, it is an illusion more than a hunch. After the disappearance of Anna and the island, my interests diminishes little by little. There is no adventure ahead, as running around 150 minutes, the rest is tiring.
One big problem is the cast, I must say that I have tried my best, but I fail to see any chemistry between Gabriele Ferzetti and Monica Vitti, I think the former should take the fully blame as his hollow performance and charmless appearance really gets into my nerves (maybe 50 years ago, the appreciation of the beautiful for sure totally different from now). I understand it is also Antonioni’s intention to fade out the performances, but should at least have provided us some real eye-candy for audiences to chew or simply don’t allow the camera lingering or focusing too much upon them as it is still a film, not a documentary (which should be a professional integrity for a film director), take another comparison with Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), which is much more decent to show how to use the marvelous natural sceneries to influence the audience. Monica Vitti is beautiful but I prefer her supporting role in La Notte one year later (personally I love La Notte more).
Beautiful shots penetrates in every scene, which I cannot deny, but in my opinion the images should always serve the characters, otherwise why just watch some exquisite landscape documents instead. When the background becomes the foreground, certainly it is another way to shot films, just I don’t have the appetite for that. For me, it is not surprise that this film could gain so much admiration 50 years ago, but time passes, few classics could remain their high reputation from generations to come. It is an inconvenient truth, otherwise we are really not evolving. So maybe the film’s importance is largely due to its role as a vanguard, which has initiated a new era for so-called art films since 1960s, still I will not hesitate to stand my ground as I am always stick to my real afterthought.