Adventure, The / L'avventura (1960)

5.0 out of 5

L'avventura starts a little bit Knife in the Water before going a bit Picnic at Hanging Rock as one of a group self-obsessed socialites disappears on a small remote island.

However, it soon becomes clear that what starts out as a missing person hunt is in no way the central theme as human empty-vessels foreground their own wants and desires while consigning the hunt for a missing friend to mere background before ultimately erasing it from their thoughts altogether.

As with Stand By Me it is the missing person hunt itself which brings the characters together and provides them with a raison d'ĂȘtre. It is the commonality. It is also the skeleton upon which two human husks attempt, and possibly fail, to reach out to one another. They use the language of love but while it conveys obsession and the desire to conquer or possess it, in truth, often fails to convince. Are these people who do in fact love one another or are they in love with the idea of being in love?

Maybe it is the equivilent of the holiday romance for those who struggle to feel. Maybe it is something else altogether.

Michelangelo Antonioni directs and Gabriele Ferzetti and Monica Vitti star. It is a long film and one in which that which is unspoken appears as important as that which is articulated.

The movie is rich in symbolism and will reward the patient viewer.

The action oriented fan of Italian exploitation may, however, struggle to make it to the end. But then again, the same could be said of the on-screen couple with whom the viewer shares the adventure.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics