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(aka "The Adventure" )

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/antonioni.htm
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.

Posters

Theatrical Release Date: September 13th, 1960 - France

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Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Ole of DVDBasen for the PAL DVD Screen Caps!

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- LEFT

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

  

Coming out in the UK on Blu-ray from Criterion in May, 2016:

Distribution

Criterion Collection Spine # 98

Region 0  - NTSC

Medusa
Region  - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 98

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

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). 2:23:06.369
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

anamorphic
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

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,554,861,541 bytes

Feature: 27,921,254,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.24 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

Medusa

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English and None Italian and none English 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:
Studio:
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

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,554,861,541 bytes

Feature: 27,921,254,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.24 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary featuring film historian Gene Youngblood
• Olivier Assayas on “L’avventura,” an analysis of the film in three parts (26:49)
• Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials, a fifty-eight-minute documentary by Gianfranco Mingozzi from 1966 (58:15)
• Writings by director Michelangelo Antonioni, read by actor Jack Nicholson, plus Nicholson’s personal recollections of the director (9:46, 6:10, 5:09)
• Trailer (2:14)
• PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Antonioni’s statements about the film after its 1960 Cannes Film Festival premiere, and an open letter distributed at the festival

Blu-ray Release Date: November 25th, 2014
Transparent Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 35

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (October 2014) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray: The Criterion 1080P's higher resolution is very evident in the screen captures below. The image is a shade lighter and shows more information on all sides of the frame. It has stronger detail, more depth plus wonderfully layered contrast. It looks stunning in-motion - as good, or better, than I was anticipating. The process is described in the enclosed liner notes booklet and states: "This new digital transfer was created in 4K resolution on an ARRISCAN film scanner from the 35mm original camera negative and a 35mm fine-grain. The original negative was provided courtesy of Mediaset (Rome), Compass Film (Rome), and Cinematographique Lyre (Paris). Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, and warps were manually removed using MTI's DRS, while Digital Vision's Phoenix was used for small dirt, grain, noise management, flicker, and jitter."

The audio is via a linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. The score is by Giovanni Fusco (The Red Desert, L'Eclisse, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Il Grido) and has an air of crispness, contemplation and the unknown. It is described as "The original monaural soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit from the 35mm optical soundtrack. Clicks, thumps, hiss, hum, and crackle were manually removed using Pro Tools HD, AudioCube's integrated workstation, and iZotope RX 3." It is certainly more impacting than either of the SD transfers. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Supplements mostly duplicate the 2001 Criterion DVD with the revealing audio commentary featuring film historian Gene Youngblood, the, almost hour-long, Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials, documentary by Gianfranco Mingozzi from 1966 (in Italian and French with English subtitles). It was written by Tommaso Chiaretti and Georges Mayrand and was the first documentary about Antonioni to receive his approval. It has Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Marco Ferreri and many others - it gives us the opportunity to observe the filmmaker on set and listening to friends, colleagues and interpreters talk about him. Included are the writings by director Michelangelo Antonioni (part of the original publicity materials for L'Avventura), read by actor Jack Nicholson - who worked with Antonioni on The Passenger, plus Jack’s provides personal recollections of the director. The three parts total about 20-minutes. There is a trailer and added are 27-minute of Olivier Assayas on “L’avventura,” an analysis of the film in three parts - as produced by Editions Montparnasse in 2004 and re-edited by Criterion. It runs almost 27-minutes with English subtitles. The package contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Antonioni’s statements about the film after its 1960 Cannes Film Festival premiere, and an open letter distributed at the festival.

One of my favorite films of all time. Groundbreaking in so many ways. Our absolute highest recommendation. It doesn't get much bigger, folks. An absolute must-own Blu-ray.

***

ON THE DVDs: 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 DVD transfer. 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


Menus

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


 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Blu-ray  Subtitle Sample

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC- TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures


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)

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

  

Coming out in the UK on Blu-ray from Criterion in May, 2016:

Distribution

Criterion Collection Spine # 98

Region 0  - NTSC

Medusa
Region  - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 98

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

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.


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Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Criterion / Blu-ray




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gary Tooze

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