LE AMICHE
THE GIRLFRIENDS
1955, Janus Films, 104 min, Italy, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

This major early achievement by Michelangelo Antonioni bears the first signs of the cinema-changing style for which he would soon be world-famous. This brilliantly observed, fragmentary depiction of modern bourgeois life is conveyed from the perspective of five Turinese women. As four of the friends try to make sense of the suicide attempt of the fifth, they find themselves examining their own troubled romantic lives. With suggestions of the theme of modern alienation and the fastidious visual abstraction that would define such later masterpieces as L'AVVENTURA, Antonioni’s film is a devastating take on doomed love and fraught friendship.


L'AVVENTURA
1960, Janus Films, 143 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni invented new film grammar with this masterwork. An iconic and challenging piece of 1960s cinema, and a gripping narrative on its own terms, L'AVVENTURA concerns the 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 her best friend (Monica Vitti, in her breakout role). Antonioni’s controversial international sensation is a gorgeously shot tale of modern ennui and spiritual isolation. The audience during the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival infamously shouted “CUT! CUT! CUT!” in multiple scenes; no one is shouting cut now.


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