L’Avventura

Antonioni’s meditation on meaning in modern existence remains an obligatory experience in existential cinema-going. On a yachting trip off Sicily, a woman (Lea Massari) mysteriously disappears during an excursion on a desolate island. Her lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and her friend (Monica Vitti) begin a search, but during the fruitless quest, each slowly becomes enamored with the other and their guilt is soon replaced by passion. L’Avventura is at once a mesmerizing mystery, a thought-provoking study of human behavior—the impermanence of romance, bourgeois boredom, and the ease with which we betray one another—an experiment in the expressive use of landscape, costume, and architecture, and an allegory on the troubled state of postwar Italy. Adriana Berselli’s costumes introduced a modern, understated Italian glamour, blending with the landscape as a key element to understanding the characters and their purposeless lives. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes.

Appears in: Italian Style

Genres: Drama, Romance, Mystery

Other Films by Michelangelo Antonioni

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La Notte

Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the second film in Antonioni’s existential trilogy, produced between L’Avventura (1960) and L’Eclisse (1962), has undergone a glorious restoration that invites renewed acquaintance. Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti, and Jeanne Moreau star in an enigmatic marital drama about modern alienation and ennui. Mastroianni plays an up

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Le Amiche

In Le Amiche (Italian for girlfriends), a young woman returns to her hometown of Turin after World War II to set up a fashion salon. The film’s costumes were designed by Zoe, Micol, and Giovanna Fontana, sisters who opened their Rome atelier in 1943 and whose signature costuming in mid-century films gave Rome the nickname