L’Avventura (1960)

Are people as weird in foreign countries as the movies that are made in those countries?  If so, I am sure glad I live in America.  L’Avventura would still have been a weird foreign film even if it had been shorter, but at least it would have been a better movie because there would have been less of it.

A bunch of people get on a boat and end up on a small volcanic island.  After they walk around for a while, they decide to leave and discover that Anna is missing.  They search everywhere, but she is gone.  There is only one possibility:  she drowned and her body drifted out to sea with the tide.  Of course, we can still wonder if it was an accident, suicide, or murder.  But one thing is certain:  she didn’t just vanish into thin air.

Wait a minute!  What am I saying?  This is a weird foreign film by Michelangelo Antonioni.  When you enter the theater to watch one of these movies, you have to check your reason and common sense at the door, or it will just get in the way of experiencing existential wonder, if that’s what you’re into.  So, of course she might just have vanished into thin air or teleported off the island or was abducted by aliens or whatever.

In any event, Anna’s friend, Claudia, and Anna’s boyfriend, Sandro, don’t have much reason and common sense either, because they leave the island and start looking for Anna.  I mean, they actually think she might be wandering around Italy, visiting museums, staying at a hotel, or anything that someone might do who wasn’t last seen on a small island with no way off except by boat.

They recognize that she might have drowned, but that doesn’t stop them from knocking off a quick piece, because though they just met, yet they are wildly in love with each other and just have to have some right in the middle of an open field.  Of course, that doesn’t stop Sandro from knocking off a quick piece the next day with some woman on the couch in the hotel lobby.  When Claudia catches him, he cries.  He shed not one tear for Anna, but this is different.  No problem, because Claudia still loves him.

And Anna?  You mean you’re still wondering what happened to her?  What do you think this is, an American movie?

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