“Who needs beautiful things nowadays Claudia? How long will they last? Back then they built for the ages. But today, how long do they last? Ten, 20 years and then? Who knows?”
Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti) to Claudia (Monica Vitti) in L’Avventura, 1960, Italian, 50 Greatest Films – BFI, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
“very few films in the history of cinema have broken the standard rules of cinematic grammar so elegantly, so subtly, as this film.”
Gene Youngblood, film critic, film theorist, journalist
“Antonioni [took] his audience on an adventure, away from conventional film-making, out into open waters, like the fateful boat journey in the movie’s first act.”
At the Cannes film festival on 15 May 1960, Antonioni presented his L’Avventura, a challenging and difficult film and a decisive break from his earlier work, replete with languorous spaces and silences. This was movie-modernism’s difficult birth. The film was jeered so ferociously, so deafeningly, that poor Antonioni and his beautiful star Monica Vitti burst into tears where they sat.
The title refers, ambiguously, to an adventure, or an affair. Antonioni himself was taking his audience on an adventure, away from conventional film-making, out into open waters, like the fateful boat journey in the movie’s first act. Then he cut the motor, just as they were out of sight of land. However boorish, the boo-ers might just have been registering understandable dismay at the farewell to Antonioni’s early “realist” period of the 1950s, in which he made conventionally paced and structured films, whose own mysterious brilliance has been forgotten. continued/source