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Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

Italy, France 1960 143 mins.

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.

Genres: Drama, Romance, Mystery

Appears in: Italian Style