The Adventure (1960)
Alessandro Romano – “Good! But before you go out, you should tell me: ‘I feel like I miss a leg when I’m without you’! Go, visit the city alone. But tell me ‘I want to hug your shadow on the wall’!” Claudia (Monica Vitti)
The psychological drama, written and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, is the first film in the series known as the “Trilogy of non-communication”. “Adventure” is very important for both Antonioni and Monica Vitti to make their names known on the international scene. This film, which also created the director’s unique style, also brought a new perspective to the intellectual critique of modernism, which became visible with the New Wave movement, and was one of the starting points of modern cinema.
In Antonioni’s films, emotions and moods such as love, betrayal, ambition, indifference, depression and melancholy are treated from many different perspectives. However, on closer inspection, these emotionally charged films contain many references to the political agenda.
Antonioni turns his camera to the middle class with L’avventura, which he shot in black and white. But it does so not in a Hollywood style, but by combining the elaboration of Italian neorealism with the intellectual perspective of the New Wave. Therefore, it creates a unique and separate space. He actually turned his camera to the middle class, but the main focus of the film is on the individual. Use the social class details in the background.
The film is set in postwar Italy. The country has gone through the destruction, internal conflicts and economic depression caused by the war and the years of the fascist regime. The aid received under the Marshall Plan between the years 1950-1960 revived Italy, but the problems did not end. There are problems such as migration from the village to the city, increasing conflicts between workers and employers and widening the gap between the poor and the rich. With the trilogy, Antonioni focuses on the destructive-alienating destruction that the welfare environment in the 1960s caused to the Western individual…
At this juncture, The Adventure focuses on the life of Anna, who belongs to a wealthy family. Antonioni introduces for the first time to the public the emotional union and the deterioration of the relationship between Anna and Sandro. Later, Anna sets off on a yacht cruise with a group that includes her lover Sandro and her best friend Claudia. The oddities begin in the yacht scene, where we first meet the bourgeois characters who make up the film’s main axis. While the parade of people who barely speak to each other except in short sentences, continues with long plans and slow motion, the communication error and boredom consciously dominate the perception of the public. Sandro is an architect, but he doesn’t care about the deterioration of the historical fabric. Anna, who will disappear in the 26th minute of the film, seems to have no expectations from life. It is as if Patricia, the creator of the show, and the other guests had come together by force.
As the yacht sails to the Mediterranean, Anna begins to question her feelings for her lover. Shortly after the yacht approaches an island, Anna mysteriously disappears. A love story begins between Sandro and Claudia, who start looking for Anna. Their attitude towards human responsibility towards Anna evolves after a certain point into selfishness. Others fall into the same indifference after their friends disappear for a while.
Throughout the film, the inner change experienced by the character of Anna’s best friend, Claudia, includes the messages that Antonioni wants to convey to the public. Claudia, who is guilty of what she has done and tries to oppose Sandro with a mixture of regret and shame, soon surrenders to her fate and tries to find happiness in Sandro’s arms. Claudia’s change in a short time is told in a very distant way with the representation of characters in isolated places and long sequences of floors by Antonioni. Claudia, who is a prisoner of love, does not hesitate to open her doors to love despite her guilt. While living her love with enthusiasm, Antonioni’s detached narrative forces the audience to question the moral dimension of the relationship.
The Adventure conveys the self-questioning of human beings to the screen and conveys spiritual decay and remorse to the audience. What remains after Claudia’s search for identity, her loneliness, her sense of guilt, her expectations of love is a hopeless acceptance.
The Adventure also contains a different view of the bourgeoisie. It also marks the highest point humanity has reached in the film. In Antonioni’s own words; “It is the study of a person who has little memory, no sense of remorse, who betrays easily, who is willing to compromise.” What Kael formulated as “upper-class neorealism that has reached its social and economic high point” is “the examination of the person who has a short memory, no sense of guilt, who betrays easily” …
After L’Avventura, the first film in the Antonioni trilogy, he shoots La Notte and Eclisse. These films are the second renaissance of Italian cinema, including La Dolce Vita, according to famous film critic Sandro Bernardi. Fellini, Visconti and Antonioni are important directors who have created the modern cinematographic language on the existential crisis of man.
Director: michelangelo antonioni
Cast: gabriela ferzetti, monica vitti, lea massari
The Adventure won the Special Jury Award for Director at the Cannes Film Festival in 1960.
Monica Vitti won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in 1961 for her performance in The Adventure.