L’avventura. 1960. Italy. Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Screenplay by Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, Tonino Guerra. With Monica Vitti, James Addams, Lea Massari. In Italian; English subtitles. 138 min.
According to the late MoMA film curator Charles Silver, “At the heart of L’avventura is, of course, Monica Vitti, Antonioni’s muse throughout this period, to whom he would return decades later for The Mystery of Oberwald. Vitti has an extraordinary haunting quality, expressing perfectly the inexpressibility of the inhabitants of Antonioni’s universe.” As Antonioni’s handsome characters wander through desolate vacation sites, they all seem to be thinking about what to do next—but no one takes action.