Well I’ve written about a lot of blockbusters and cheesy action films lately so let’s class things up a bit and knock a film off of the Sight and Sound list.
Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960 classic film L’Avventura has always received mixed praise. It was originally booed at Cannes before it was screened a second time and won the Jury Prize. Antonioni’s style isn’t for everyone, he likes to use long takes and plot and characters seem to a backseat to style. Personally I like it. There’s just something fascinating about his films that while I can see people getting bored by them, I find them intriguing.
Lea Massari is a rich girl going out for a weekend boating cruise with her boyfriend Gabriele Ferzetti, an architect that she barely sees, her best friend Monica Vitti and several rich disenchanted friends and acquaintances. Massari is bored and wants something more out of Ferzetti. While swimming she claims to see a shark just get everyone’s attention particularly Ferzetti. Later they embark on an island, Ferzetti and Massari argue about the direction of their lives. Everyone takes a break and a nap. The boat returns for everyone to leave but no one can find Massari. They search the small island and find nothing. Nobody seems particularly worried except Vitti. Ferzetti and Vitti soon look for anyone who may of seen of heard from Massari. Smugglers and different rumours lead the two all over Italy.
The cinematography is fantastic as is Monica Vitti who seems to be the only person actually concerned about her friend. Ferzetti is good too as the weirdly self involved boyfriend who is trying to find Massari but thinks she’s playing a trick on them to teach him a lesson. As the search continues Ferzetti is attracted more and more to Vitti, while Vitti feels guilty about her friend. As I said the movie isn’t for everyone, it is extremely slow paced and the conclusion isn’t going to make most people happy but I really liked it.