L’avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 21:00 to 23:30


“The method of report in Antonioni […] always has this function of bringing idle periods and empty spaces together: drawing all the consequences from a decisive past experience, once it is done and everything has been said.”


“Tiredness and waiting, even despair are the attitudes of the body. No one has gone further in this direction than Antonioni. His method: the interior through behavior, no longer experience, but ’what remains of past experiences’, ‘what comes afterwards, when everything has been said’, such a method necessarily proceeds via the attitudes and postures of the body.”

Gilles Deleuze in ‘Cinema 2: The Time Image’, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1989, p.7 & 189


“At the beginning of ‘Cinema 2’ [by Gilles Deleuze], Antonioni is placed as a successor to the innovations of Italian neorealism. This is especially the case in so far as Antonioni extends the significance of the ‘pure optical and sound situations’ discovered by the neorealists. He emphasizes the states of dislocation and disintegration experienced by specific characters. For Deleuze, Antonioni reaches the point of dehumanizing the situations in which his characters are placed, he presents empty, barren spaces into which the humans themselves seem to have disappeared or been absorbed. The human beings in Antonioni’s films disappear into, or are absorbed by, the empty spaces which come to dominate them.”


“One of the key issues Deleuze points towards is that we never get to know Antonioni’s characters from the inside. Instead, we only get to see them in parallel with other objects of the landscape: buildings, streets, the stock exchange, a nuclear power station, a container ship, motor cars, trains, a house, a pool, a statue and so on. The humans here are composed as objects, as though they were merely other objects in a world full of objects. And Deleuze therefore characterizes Antonioni’s approach as an objective one: he approaches his characters from the outside, so that one thing we can say about these characters is that they are not self-willed or selfdefined; they are not ‘subjects’ in the strong sense in which we might understand that term. If they have traits of human subjectivity, then these traits are the ones defined by the other people and objects, the spaces and situations with which they come into contact or which they occupy.”

Richard Rushton in ‘Cinema after Deleuze’, Continuum, London & New York, 2012, p.66


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