Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpiece L' Avventura became famous because it was said that nothing ever happened in the film. It was a search for a person that didn't have a resolution and a love story that didn't have a conclusion. L' Avventura in English means 'The Adventure,' which is very ironic since little adventure really takes place. L' Avventura tells the simple story about a woman who disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip, and during the subsequent search, her lover and her best friend become romantically involved. Aldo Scavarda's brilliant cinematography is haunting and strangely hypnotic, as he places character's off-center within the shots of the frame, as large rocks and the crashing of the waves give audiences the frightening feeling that the earth will swallow the characters whole. Filmed on several beautiful locations within the city of Rome including the Aeolian Islands, Sicily and under difficult financial and physical conditions, L'Avventura also made unknown Monica Vitti an international star.
The premiere of L’Avventura, at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1960, was a complete disaster, as the film was booed by members of the audience, with catcalls erupting throughout the auditorium, and it is said that Antonioni and Vitti fled the theater. But the critics loved it and so after a second screening it won the Jury Prize and went on to both international box office success. A few years later, in a Sight and Sound poll of 100 critics around the world, it was judged to be one of the ten best films of all time, and it is now looked at as a classic and one of the few turning points in the evolution of a more mature cinematic art form. Antonioni is known more as a 'woman's' director and L' Avventura is considered the first of a trilogy that explores the emotional alienation between a man and a woman within the contemporary world of modernization. The character's in L' Avventura are wealthy, soulless, unhappy people who use the word 'love' as more like an attempt to pass the time throughout their meaningless existence, and I believe these character's don't know how to love because they don't even love themselves.