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38 L'avventura 
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Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
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Friends and colleagues know of my love of cinema and often ask what I thought of Transformers 2 for example.


are these 'friends & colleagues' around your age? so there are people in their 50s that actually go to see Transformers? wow...hopefully they are just going to spend time with their kids.

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I'm 17 too, I'll be 18 in September. I'm off to college in the Bay Area in September.


I'm sure you'll meet more than few students there that have heard of David Lean.

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I often wondered why some of them were on the list at all. I usually find out through further research that they were breakthroughs. This usually annoys me, because there is almost always another film made later that the previous film paved the way for. And it's usually better.


can you give some examples(of these breakthroughs & their 'better' follow-ups?)


Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:03 pm
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Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
calvero wrote:
can you give some examples(of these breakthroughs & their 'better' follow-ups?)


Well, first I usually point to Citizen Kane. It is the beginning of a new era in film. Orson Welles took it up a notch. Not that it's a bad movie, I honestly do not consider it to be the best ever. I do admire what it has done for cinema.

Sunrise is another movie that is fairly high on the list. When I saw it, I thought it had a great beginning and ending, but the middle was lacking. After reading through the thread on it here, I realized that it is greatly admired due to its firsts in cinematography and other new techniques. I feel that this is more of a reason why it is so high rather than its story or acting.

Gone With the Wind. It was extremely popular and it was unique when it came out. Never before had so much gone into one movie. But whenever I watch it, it annoys me. I do not like this movie. I think there are MUCH better epics out there.

Pierrot le Fou is another. This is Godard's tenth movie, and it is considered to be an early example of postmodernism and the pop movement in film. While I can't really point out another movie that does this better, you have to admit that it is so high on the list because of how different and new it was when it came out. I feel that L'avventura is on the list for similar reasons.

You may disagree with me, or argue with my examples, but it is true that movies are often remembered on lists like this because they were so different and new when they came out.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:31 am
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Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
calvero wrote:
Quote:
I often wondered why some of them were on the list at all. I usually find out through further research that they were breakthroughs. This usually annoys me, because there is almost always another film made later that the previous film paved the way for. And it's usually better.


can you give some examples(of these breakthroughs & their 'better' follow-ups?)


If I may jump in, L'Avventura may be a good example. It was fiercly booed on its first showing at the Cannes Festival, so that Antonioni actually fled the theatre. It was then shown a second time and won the Grand Jury Price. I think it is entirely possible that the film is held in high regard by critics just because of this controversy and because it introduced Antonioni's style to an international audience, although he arguably made better films later in his career.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:41 am
Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
darthyoshi wrote:
calvero wrote:
can you give some examples(of these breakthroughs & their 'better' follow-ups?)


Well, first I usually point to Citizen Kane. It is the beginning of a new era in film. Orson Welles took it up a notch. Not that it's a bad movie, I honestly do not consider it to be the best ever. I do admire what it has done for cinema.

Sunrise is another movie that is fairly high on the list. When I saw it, I thought it had a great beginning and ending, but the middle was lacking. After reading through the thread on it here, I realized that it is greatly admired due to its firsts in cinematography and other new techniques. I feel that this is more of a reason why it is so high rather than its story or acting.

Gone With the Wind. It was extremely popular and it was unique when it came out. Never before had so much gone into one movie. But whenever I watch it, it annoys me. I do not like this movie. I think there are MUCH better epics out there.

Pierrot le Fou is another. This is Godard's tenth movie, and it is considered to be an early example of postmodernism and the pop movement in film. While I can't really point out another movie that does this better, you have to admit that it is so high on the list because of how different and new it was when it came out. I feel that L'avventura is on the list for similar reasons.

You may disagree with me, or argue with my examples, but it is true that movies are often remembered on lists like this because they were so different and new when they came out.


Hi there

This is really interesting and whilst I was aware that certain films had moved our art form forwards, I had never though of it quite this way.

If you watch the Scorsese documentary about Italian cinema (and you really should) he is a major proponent of this idea.

He believes that Rome, Open City by Roberto Rossellini is a very important film as it was the birthplace of neo realism. I saw the film and liked but did not really love the film. i have often wondered how my interpretation might change when I see it again. Scorsese spends alot of time with key scenes and explains why they are so important and the influence the film and the director had on him.

Pierrot Le Fou is another film on the journey that I have struggled with. On the surface (story, stars, style, etc.) I should have loved it, but i just did not.

I sometimes wish I had the time to go to film school and actually study this stuff!
Rob


Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:18 pm
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Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
Wow, I'm glad it's not just me.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:13 pm
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Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
I'm not done with the film yet, but I will say I don't hate it yet. In fact, I'm very interested in how the story's going to turn out. I don't know if I'll feel the same way by the end of the film, but it's working on me so far.


Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:55 am
Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
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The problem, of course, is that we've got all the tools but none of the know-how. It's all there, regardless: knowledge of language, use of language to express emotion, use of language to lie about emotion... it's all so evolved that it's a wonder that we hardly ever question anything. All of the promises that intellect (that being the curiosity to wonder about curiosity) failed to pay out should register but, for reasons unknown, it's hard to get past the first stage: How? How did a woman disappear? How can we find her? How can we move on? Never: Why would she disappear? Why are we even looking? What does 'moving on' even mean?

Take it as a case of missing keys: search your pockets and you'll find them, nine times out of ten. That tenth time you'll probably think something on the order or "But my keys are always here." Better yet: take it as a case of a recently deceased relative. Not keys, exactly, but not exactly all that different: "But my relative was always here." And so goes Anna. Later on others will likely follow. If it isn't yet at the stage of looking for missing keys better to spill a bottle of ink -- accidentally, of course -- onto someone else's work. The apology, the threat... why even bother searching when you could always search if you just put your mind to it?

Antonioni's L'Avventura is a major tragedy, a film so sad and disappointed at man's failure to grasp his own place in time that it hardly rises above vignettes to become a film. It ultimately doesn't form into one film, at that: there's a mystery, a romance, a light comedy, a soul-crushing tragedy, and a few other genre performances all wrapped up in a 143-minute package. The most striking tragedy isn't that Anna has disappeared and all those around her want to relegate her to ghost territory ASAP. No, it's that Anna is the only one that has bothered to merge with her surroundings.

Everywhere you look in the film there is plenty of disappearing going on: children kicking around a can, nuns walking toward a church, unseen people ringing unseen church bells, boats that may or may not have been heard but certainly can't be disproven to exist. The only people that aren't getting in on the act are the very people that need to drop the charade of being stunned, being pained, and then being forgiven or forgiving. The protagonists in the film are the most stupidly (and by this I mean 'stunned', not idiotic) visible people alive. They're pathetic actors that can give one another little glimpses of humanity, and by extension intellectual/emotional growth, but fail to locate the means by which they might use the humanity to better understand just what it is that keeps them moving.

Roger Ebert writes in his Great Movies essay that most of the people in this film are on the verge of disappearing. I don't believe this is what Antonioni intends: the disappearing of Anna may be the most savage act of honesty pulled off in the film. The rest of the circus gets by on feigned interest, a delicately touched wrist, some comforting, and pity. Especially the pity. This is the best that they can do: hate the pain they see in someone else. Antonioni himself says "at least it's a start" but the likelihood of anyone within the film actually moving past the nascent stage of understanding the scope of the universe (their own and all the rest) is lost in the last shot. It's always "How can we make this better?" with these people, never "Why on earth am I going through this again?"

It must be a great comfort to the protagonists that they can fuck one another with abandon just as it must be a great comfort that they may feign sadness over the truly mysterious disappearance of a friend. If it looks like misery what else could it possibly be but misery?

L'Avventura is a stern warning that couldn't be more relevant today. Even within this very forum, where people can easily forget that they're speaking with other human beings with the exact same scope of emotions and thoughts, it's a struggle to get the communication just right. The price for all of this "indifference", if that's even close to being the right term, is unforeseeable but it won't be good for anyone. Eventually the disconnect between curiosity, emotion, language... all of it, it'll be lost in dozens of formless posts, insults, apologies, what have you. How often does reality switch from comedy to romance to pornography to misery to so on and so on and so on? At what point does morality even get brought up? The people in L'Avventura (especially he who freely spills ink on the work of unknown meaning to another) aren't any different than a good cross section of any civilized society. To call them elitists is to ignore them as just symbols, a crass slap in the face of the rich. These people have every chance in the world to find their fucking keys but they keep asking why they lost them in the first place. It's maddening!

So what can be taken away from the film? Antonioni has pointed out that we should be looking closer and questioning why we haven't been looking closer all along. Fair enough. But with his criticism of man's precarious (although, I believe, ameliorable situation) he also gives something unexpected: there's life in the background. It's waiting for you to stop ignoring it and start throwing out guesses. A plea to find some meaning and relevance in whatever universe you choose, no matter how small. Get to doing! Stop fucking around! Stop fucking for the sake of fucking and get to work, already. If you're watching L'Avventura and finding yourself sick at the people within then the film has already succeeded.

Movies like this don't get made very often. It's slow, meditative, and sad. But it's also uplifting to know that there's someone out there asking some of the bigger questions about existential sacrifice. Antonioni has accomplished the first step by making the film, posing some of the questions, and offering people a way into the minds of the protagonists. He expects people to walk out enraged, a bit overwhelmed, and ready to put it together. That's spectacular. Lucky lucky lucky us. It's impossible to be indifferent to a film like this and that's part of its very real brilliance. It's alive in the exact opposite way the protagonists are barely. I say take the film and run with its energy (even if it doesn't always feel like there's much going on in the way of motion)... people might have applied the word 'ennui' to those on screen but that's giving credit where none is due. They aren't there, not quite yet. But, when Claudia hesitates before putting her hand on Sandro's back to comfort him... ah, there's a way in for her. She may be the first one of the gang to stop concerning herself with appearing/disappearing and take a breath while nobody is watching.

Spectacular!

Rob gives it a 4/10.
darthyoshi says 4/10, too.
It's a 10/10 in my world. I think a film like L'Avventura can never stop giving. I urge those who found the film lacking to take a second look.


Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:53 am
Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
Martin Scorsese wrote this love letter to L'Avventura when Antonioni passed a couple years ago. I still haven't seen the movie, but the way the Scorsese passionately described it has stayed with me since. Certainly a film I'd like to check out. (I originally posted this in the cinematic journey thread, but this is as good as any a place to share it again):
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/09/arts/09iht-martin.1.7057815.html


Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:30 pm
Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
After all this controversy that I incited some of...most of...fine, all of it I rented this from my library cause if I didn't, I would be some sort of jerkass. So I'll have my thoughts tomorrow and unlike The Rules of the Game, the disc looks fine so I can watch more than 10 minutes of it.


Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:18 pm
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Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
I can see what you're getting at, majoraphasia, but I'm not sure I completely understand it yet. It will probably take another viewing. But after reading the Scorsese letter, I have to say that I'm definitely in the Fellini camp.


Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:53 pm
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Post Re: 38 Avventura, L' 1960
Alright, I've watched L'Avventura and I have to say this....it's pretty damn good. I'm not as enthusiastic about it as Pedro and Major are but I do like it quite a bit.

This movie is an achievement in cinematography with plenty of striking images in every frame. The deep focus is amazing as we see every detail, every building and every person in crystal-clear clarity. There is something to always notice in the background like major said but I don't feel that that it is as rich as major said it was. In fact, I was kinda disappointed that it wasn't.....thanks major. And I do think that if we actually knew what happened to Anna, the movie would've suffered through it. This was never about her, she's just a lousy MacGuffin so Claudia and Sandro could try to some meaning in their lives without her. Hell, if Sandro was the one who disappeared nothing would've changed....what, was I the only one who kinda got a lesbian theme with Anna and Claudia? This is all about boredom and finding oneself and whatnot, the movie would've fallen on it's own hubris if the characters even had a hint of depth towards them.

8/10


Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:07 pm
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Post Re: 38 L'avventura
Cinema is constantly evolving, so when you have an extraordinary director, whose body of work is large, cinematic language original and easily recognizable and influence on later directors immense, you have to identify the breakthrough film and pretty much rank it number one in his body of work. In L'avventura Antonioni did a lot of things he did before, but the scale became a lot larger, story - more metaphysical (pretending to be trivial), takes - longer, etc. He blew up the cinematic language and still is the arguably most copied arthouse director (overall most copied is probably Tarantino).

But I'd like to say that I never understood the obsession to see all films on the list, precisely because a film might make the list, because a certain 'trick' has first appeared in this film, but since that time, that 'trick' has been used, bettered. abused and forgotten, so learning who invented it might not add much value to your cinema knowledge/appreciation. While Antonioni's 'tricks' have a huge sustaining power, you can do yourself a favour and watch L'Eclisse instead, which has the same cinematic language, but is infinitely more entertaining, with some comedy and satire included, great leads by Vitti and Delon and even the pure arthouse ending has more 'action', than L'Avventura. And my all-time favourite film 'Blowup' has again the same cinematic language (OK, faster), social commentary, satire, comedy, thriller, mistery, sex, 'deep questions" etc. So by starting with one of these two, you will approach The Adventure in a much more educated way and will likely appreciate it a lot more.


Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:21 pm
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