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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 (99 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: Multiple Formats, 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 (99 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005BHW6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,238 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

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.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An adventure in moviemaking. March 27, 2002
By A Customer
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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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
...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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30 of 35 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "L'Avventorment. . ." June 5, 2002
By A Customer
Format: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."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Michelangelo Antonioni. This was a director that broke ...
Vintage Michelangelo Antonioni. This was a director that broke the paradigm of typical cinema for that era. If you are looking for a movie that is traditional... Read more
Published 2 months ago by pdogg
5.0 out of 5 stars Affecting and mysterious film
Gripping movie. I see it every few years and it always effects me deeply.
Published 2 months ago by Penny Green
1.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
Very banal film. I did not see anything revolutionary in the director's photography. Perhaps it was revolutionary in the 1960s... Read more
Published 5 months ago by baby9798
1.0 out of 5 stars A Fruitless Search
I am in the minority opinion, but I found the film vastly uninteresting. The characters are inherently unlikable; thus, I was left detached from any of their emotions,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Clayton
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 6 months 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 9 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 10 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 10 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 12 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 12 months ago by Kitty
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