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L'Avventura (The Criterion Collection) (1961)

Gabriele Ferzetti , Monica Vitti , Michelangelo Antonioni  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari, Dominique Blanchar, Renzo Ricci
  • Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, Tonino Guerra
  • Producers: Amato Pennasilico
  • Format: Black & White, Letterboxed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005BHW6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,531 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "L'Avventura (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials 58 minute documentary by Gianfranco Mingozzi
  • Writings by Antonioni, read by Jack Nicholson - plus Nicholson's recollection of the director
  • Reprint of Antonioni's statements about L'Avventura, circulated after the film's premiere at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival
  • Restoration demonstration

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Considered by many to be his masterpiece, L’Avventura 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 L’Avventura so unpredictable is the high level of realism portrayed by each character and their environments. This isn’t 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. L’Avventura is quintessential Antonioini. Not to be missed. --Rob Bracco

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An adventure in moviemaking. March 27, 2002
By A Customer
Format: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? Read more ›
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
...this Criterion DVD edition of L'AVVENTURA is a widescreen anamorphic 2-disc set, with the first disc movie-only and the second containing extras. I applaud putting the movie on its own disc, so that there could be less video compression and the picture quality could be at its best (whenever I see a single-disc DVD fully loaded with extras, I immediately wonder if the higher degree of compression needed would cause any compression artifacts on the picture). The picturesque photography of L'AVVENTURA really demands as perfect a video transfer as possible. I'm glad Criterion has delivered on that regard, for this DVD has simply one of the best black-and-white transfer I've ever seen. Efforts have been made to eliminate blemishes frame-by-frame, so this DVD is significantly better looking than Criterion's own laserdisc version made in 1989. There is a "restoration demontration" among the DVD extras that shows how the picture looks before and after the clean-up.
Subtitles have been significantly rewritten compared to the LD. With my limited knowledge of Italian I'm of the impression that the new translations are more literal, closer in meaning to the original dialogs, and have less paraphrasing and abbreviation. For instance, in an early scene where Anna confides to Claudia, the LD subtitle reads, "These separations are awful, believe me." On the DVD it becomes, "It's harrowing having to be apart, really." The use of "harrowing" seems more suitable than "awful" in conveying the connotations of the the Italian word "mostruoso" (atrocious), and "really" is the exact translation of "verimente". In another dialog later in the same scene, the LD subtitle is abbreviated into, "It's not easy to keep going like this...
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Masterpiece June 28, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This director creates meditative films that are certainly not propelled by action or overt themes; his audience is, thus, small, but devoted. The beauty of "L'Avventura" was not so apparent to me until I had the great pleasure of watching a new print on a wide screen the way it was conceived and intended. Admittedly, I'm a big fan of Monica Vitti; I'd probably pay to watch her sit and loll about in anything. This film exerts a certain pull over me because of its focus of spatial relationships and textures, its lovely compositions which make the emotional barreness of its characters all the more distressing. Sure, it's an acquired taste, and will probably not garner any new fans in the age of attention deficit disorder, but the pleasures of letting it slowly work its understated magic on one amount to much more than just surmising it's two and half hours of rich people being aimless. Antonioni cared about the beauty of the natural world, about humans retaining virtue and honesty and meaning in relationships. It may not rank as "entertainment" to watch a world where these qualities have seriously eroded, but it certainly does approach and sometimes achieve art.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
L'Avventura is one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen and this DVD does it perfect justice. The transfer is pristine reflecting the breathtaking cinematography, and the commentary by film historian Gene Youngblood illuminates Antonioni's revolutionary genius by offering awe-inspiring insight into nearly every scene of the movie. Of all the commentary offered so far by criterion this is by far the best though the film is not necessarily for everyone. The pacing is a bit slow at times for the moviegoer who enjoys films with more action and overt sexuality(though the two lead actresses have beauty enough to leave you enchanted), but L'Avventura is always interesting for fans of film who want to learn more about the technique and art of moviemaking. The documentary provides a good overview of Antonioni's career and Jack Nicholson reads documents that provide knowledge of Antonioni's philosophy of art. If you have enjoyed prior Criterion Collection editions of great films this DVD is perfect for your collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars galactic scale fiasco
This movie is endless - not timeless.
Praise is due to the initial audience from Cannes which had
no problem recognizing a sham and booed it off the screen. Read more
Published 11 days ago by reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Italian film
Stop reading this and go watch now. Wonderful film about relationships with the complexity of love, anger, confusion, and sadness
Published 3 months ago by Heather
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy recipient
I bought this to give as a gift. It was received with great pleasure. He said it was No. 1 on his wish list.
Published 3 months ago by dalesmom
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great film, without doubt
A major masterpiece of filmmaking. It altered the direction of all serious filming
to come. I watch over again every other year and never cease to marvel.
Published 4 months ago by C. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is one of the Best Italian movie i have ever seen, but be prepared. If you hate long shots with no dialogues at all then this isn't your film.
Published 6 months ago by Sam Pouyan
1.0 out of 5 stars review
After about 15 minutes I was going to turn it off but I wanted to see what happened to the girl as it was a mystery, but I completely wasted my time. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kitty
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected
This film is a classic because it breaks all your normal expectations of what is going to happen and even the genre of the film.
Published 11 months ago by James Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars Antonioni's Mona Lisa
Michelangelo Antonioni is a polarizing figure in the film community. You either love him or you hate him. Me? I absolutely love his films! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Filmaholics Anyonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Esoterically intense!
54 years after it was made, the film delights with subtle and mysterious beauty!

Contextual clarity is tightly interwoven with moral conundrum and esthetic elusiveness... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jacek W. Jarkowski
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get better than this!
I loved watching this movie! Each image is carefully framed and beautifully shot. Michelangelo Antonioni is a master at his craft. Read more
Published 13 months ago by RONAN R OSULLIVAN
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