A few hours ago someone at Turner Classic Movies tweeted the below photo to promote a showing of Michelangelo Antonioni‘s L’Avventura. Someone with the attitude of a Polyanna or a huckster, I should say. Or who just doesn’t know the film. Monica Vitti and Gabriele Ferzetti appear to be lovers who’ve found happiness. Their characters’ relationship in this 1960 classic is about anything but that. L’Avventura is about wealthy Italians wandering about in gloomy ennui, anxious and vaguely bothered and frowning a good deal of the time. The movie is about the absence of whole-hearted feeling, and it never diverts from this. If there’s a moment in which Vitti conveys even a hint of serenity in her intimate scenes with Ferzetti, it barely registers. I don’t remember a single shot in which Ferzetti (who just died last December at age 90) smiles with even a hint of contentment. A publicity still, I’m presuming.
A shot from the final moments of L’Avventura — much closer to the general tone of the film.