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(aka "The Adventure" )
Italy 1960

As L'avventura opens we are greeted by Anna (Lea Massari), a jaded, spoiled socialite about to indifferently embark on a ship excursion with her girlfriend Claudia (Monica Vitti) and boyfriend Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti) with whom she is in a long distance relationship. Her blasé attitude is initially acceptable as we do not yet know her complete story. After some disenchanted lovemaking with Sandro, her pain is expressed to be their lack of togetherness and indecision as to the direction of the relationship.

On the boat excursion, while anchored to swim near a barren volcanic island, Anna feigns seeing shark. She soon reveals to Claudia that she lied and for no other purpose than succumbing to a fit of boredom. For their apathy, we are gaining the sense that all of these characters on the trip could be dubbed "the idle rich". They show little to no interest in what each other communicates. As well as opening a window on this surfeit class, each object of the landscape is clearly portrayed, and forms its own separate defined area within the screen. Antonioni's flawless framing makes it all so beautiful, making our job of interpretation that much more distracting.

While touring the picturesque island with its Aeolian charm, Anna goes missing. We never know why and there is no direct evidence supporting any conclusions, but the aura of mystery is in the air. The initial concern for her soon dissolves and Sandro and Claudia begin an affair. It becomes hard to accept that these young, attractive and wealthy characters are so self-absorbed when we are used to gorgeous movie stars being the noble protagonists . As Antonioni states "I prefer to set my heroes in a rich environment because then their feelings are not determined by material and practical contingencies." In fact, there are no ' heroes' in this film, but the point is made that they have no mitigating factors to encourage their selfish behavior. Their foibles are bred through wealthy meaninglessness, not usual neo-realistic poverty and despair. In essence, these characters have nothing to overcome... no abject hardships to suppress or hurdles to leap. Because of this, we discern Claudia and Sandro's behavior that much more abhorrent in our eyes. The characters alligator tears and bluffed investigations of Anna's disappearance become an inquisition of who we are... our own superficialities become transparent and it is the viewer who is redeemed for reaching this conclusion. Antonioni's hidden skill in manipulating time and space while expressing the concealed undercurrents of his characters depths becomes rewarding to those who are cognizant of it. His images are more adept at conveying this meaningful experience than any dialogue could have.

Excerpt from Gary Tooze's review found HERE


Theatrical Release Date: September 13th, 1960 - France

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Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL

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Criterion Collection Spine # 98

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Criterion (without the extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films is a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Runtime 2:23:05 2:12:46 PAL (Looks like the first 18 seconds is restoration info).

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 7.5 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio anamorphic
Average Bitrate: 6.75
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.






Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Subtitles English and None Italian and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Edition Details:
Commentary by Gene Youngblood
• Theatrical trailer
• 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
• Widescreen letterbox format
• Number of discs: 2

DVD Release Date: June 5th, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 35

Release Information:
Medusa (Italy)

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.82:1

Edition Details:
Presentzione di Maurizion Porro (5:26).
Cinema Forever (1980) (7:36)
About the restoration (5:42).
Ricordi su L'avventura (Interview with Antonio Basile)(2003)(14:41)
Trailer (2:26)
Behind the scenes photos.
List of cast and crew.

DVD Release Date: May 28th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 21

Comments: I'm afraid that the Medusa DVD is a bit of a disappointment. It shows us the Criterion has been cropped a shade on the sides, but other than that, without English subs, it is a dud. The picture quality has had some brightness boosting and is much hazier in direct comparison to the Criterion. It has some nice Extras (again - no English subs), but still limited compared to the essential Criterion DVD. So our obvious conclusion is buy the Criterion if you haven't already... and if you already own it, be very happy. 

- Gary W. Tooze

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Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- LEFT vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


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(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)



(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)


Michelangelo Antonioni films on DVD (NTSC) - CLICK COVERS or REVIEW BUTTON for more information


Recommended Books for Michelangelo Antonioni reading (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

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Criterion Collection Spine # 98

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