Sunday, June 19, 2011

L'Avventura (1960): Don't ask me. I don't know.

{File this one under: Screen-Caps That Explain the Entire Film}

I think my brain is going to explode.

Who decided it would be a good thing to let The Millie watch a movie so obviously far above what her viewing comprehension level will EVER BE?! Who?!

Oh, right. That blasted new obsession with Gabriele Ferzetti. 

Let this be a lesson to you: obsessions are never healthy. ;-D

(I actually feel rather guilty for even using a winking emoticon in a review of this film.)

I'm not gonna lie, I was scared before I started watching this. Every single thing I'd ever read about it was always about the genius and never-ending symbolism. I get scared, because I can't possibly keep up with all the symbolism. Is that fluttering leaf in the background a symbol for something? What about the oddly shaped window -- is that a symbol? Do you understand how stressful that is? I'm on summer vacation, for heaven's sake! (I really want to use another winking emoticon right now, but I feel that would be a strangely unforgivable sacrilege.)

Of course, I forgot about all that and began to judge the film on its entertainment value alone. I always do. I may pretend to like Citizen Kane, The Third Man, and the like for their genius -- but it's mostly because they are highly entertaining.

L'Avventura also stars Monica Vitti (who I adore) and she is quite wonderful, as is Gabriele Ferzetti (I'm still having fun typing his name) -- and really the entire cast. Of course, they are being so wonderful playing basically completely unlikable characters (although, I really did thoroughly like them all at first [except for Anna]).

After all the characters become hollow and selfish jerks, there were still four very good reasons why I kept watching the film. One, the cinematography is so hauntingly and utterly perfect. Two, Monica Vitti wears so many cool '60s clothes. Three, every person had an Italian accent. And four, I could take as many Gabriele Ferzetti screencaps as my little heart desired. (Note that these are not necessarily in order of importance.)

I don't know. This movie just seriously confused me. That's not to suggest it isn't the masterpiece so many claim it to be, because I can totally see why it is considered so. It's just that I'm a dork, who enjoys happy endings and mostly likable protagonists. And L'Avventura had waaay too much fun messing with me. You should have seen me during the last minute, PATHETICALLY yelling for her not to walk away. The reason it was pathetic, is because it didn't matter if she left or not. Their lives would have been just as empty and soulless. 

The characters in L'Avventura jump from one "adventure" to another. They are the definition of impulsive. It's as if they need to continually change and change and change to pretend they are not empty and purposeless.

But, now I'm beginning to sound like one of those scary symbolism people. QUICK! CHANGE THE SUBJECT!

L'Avventura was brilliant and horrible. It totally made its point and made me understand its point. The cinematography, direction, and acting were all excellent. But, it was horrible because it made me BLOODY THINK. The Millie doesn't like thinking on summer vacation. This movie has certainly ruined me forever for Dr. Goldfoot and The Bikini Machine and I sure won't be able to watch Gidget Goes Hawaiian anytime soon.


This is what happens when you decide to have your current obsession be an Italian actor from the '60s. Nothing EVER ends happy. Sheesh.

 ^This was basically my final reaction to the film. ;-D

-Millie, who promises to never again watch genius films far above her viewing comprehension and then write sacrilegious semi-reviews on said genius films.

P.S. If you're looking for any more Gabriele Ferzetti L'Avventura screencaps -- I have a "few." ;-DD


Anonymous said...

This is another reason I'm slightly more than terrified of foreign films. I always assume they'll be too deep for me.

But, I DO want to see those screencaps! ;D

Oops. I winky-smiled.

Francy Flicks said...

He IS cute ... I'll give this one a go ;-D

Millie said...

Emm: Hahaha. Don't even speak to me about French new-wave -- it strikes fear in the heart of The Millie! ;-D

But, a lot of foreign films are just wonderfully happy!

Heh heh heh. Excellent. I'll Tumblr some! ;-D

Francy: It's definitely worth the confusing soullessness! haha

Dave said...

Millie, as a dedicated and die-hard Criterion film blogger, I want to let you know that this is one of the most entertaining and enjoyable reviews of L'Avventura that I've ever read, and I've read quite a few, including many by highbrow intellectual blowhards who seek to impress me with their grad-level vocabulary but still only wind up blowing so much smoke. You told it like you saw it, an honest and genuine response to a great film. I appreciate that! Thanks. :o)

Millie said...


What a wonderfully nice comment! Thank you! I really appreciate it. :-)

Sarah said...

omg. YOU CRACK ME UP. Seriously I was laughing the entire time I was reading this.
I adore Monica as well, but I haven't seen this! I'm a sucker for all the symbolism and can't get enough of it, so it seems that this is soaked in it. PERFECT.

Millie said...

Sarah: Why, thank you. ;-D

I think you need to watch this. I feel like you would totally "get it." haha. It's on Netflix Instant.

Anonymous said...

Millie, I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I've got to say, I love it because of posts like this. They are funny and honest. Keep it up!
But really, don't be afraid to try some French New Wave. It's not that bad ;)

la vita รจ bella (life is beautiful) said...

Hi! Great review!! What a coincidence, I recently just saw this. I adore classic films, but this one I didn't really like, I found it lacked & sort of dragged along as far as the story plot goes. I also found it a little slow moving, considering it was over 2 hours. I loved the 60's clothes too, & I did find the cinematography haunting as well & I loved the Italian accents.

I think it was a mysterious movie but the viewers are kind of left without answers. In most movies we are looking at a final ending & resolution to what's going on in the movie. It was in a way too mysterious.

Overall I guess it was semi-okay!


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