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Feature
Michelangelo Antonioni 1960 L'Avventura tells the tale of an enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the coast of Sicily, and the search taken up by her disaffected lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and best friend (Monica Vitti). Antonioni’s controversial (as in both liked and disliked) international sensation is a gorgeously shot tale of modern ennui and spiritual isolation. Many critics consider it the film that invented a new film grammar and it's gripping narrative solidifies its place in film history.

Video


The black and white image hewre is absolutely glorious with the 4K restortion really bringing the film to life on a modern format. There's a few softer elements but these are few and far between because the the sharpness of the edges here and the glow of the image utterly brings the 60s film to life in a modern HD realm.

While the image largely deals in the grey, the darker black elements are deep and striking when the appear. Shiny dark surfaces reflect wonderfully, warm naturally lit scenes have a real warmth to them and the image can often provide a fair bit of depth to it.

Textures and detail shine with the presentation, hair looks luscious, clothes summery and light. The scenes in the ocean add little flecks of light here and there and the rocky terrain passed pop off the screen in an almost 3D effect.  This is a real world looking film in terms of style but reeks of cool with its framing and it looks fantastic here.

Audio


The audio track is largely dialogue heavy and all of it remains clean throughout, with no hiss or odd levelling from the source. The background sound effects, like rumbling boat engines or traffic or elements of music enhance the track a little but it remains very much in the background to add depth, never getting in the way of the conversations unfolding.

Extras


The commentary by Jean Youngblood is a nice mix of technical details, historical notes and is generally full of a reverence for the film. He leads us through the history of the actor, the language of the film itself and essentially holds our hand through the film, giving us a friendly voice to sell us the film's charms and some of its more subtle themes and references. It's a pretty fantastic track for a newcomer.

'Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials' (58:15 HD)  is a 1966 documentary and the first to receive his approal

'Jack Nicholson Reads Essays by Antonioni' are three short audio essays read by Jack in utter Jack awesomeness.

'Olivier Assayas on L'avventura' (26:49 HD) is the french director's critical eye on the film and last up is the 'Trailer'.

Overall


L'Avventura won't be for everyone, it's a long film and it's minimal, though it has to be said, in the best of ways. Fans of film history will have a great experience with it and the commentary track adds a whole lot to that experience, bringing years of history and thoughts of the film to the viewer. I enjoyed the film, more so for its style than it's characters, though they did intrigue me throughout. The Criterion release has a nice batch of extras to fill out your knowledge on the film and those involved in it, so those who have ever had a passing intrigue wth L'Avventura should take the oppotunity and venture in.
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