<i>L’avventura</i>: Temporal Adventures

Matilda Mroz

in Temporality and Film Analysis

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748643462
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676514 | DOI:
L’avventura: Temporal Adventures

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This chapter begins by outlining particular configurations of theoretical response around Antonioni's L’Avventura, noting how the film's images are consistently described as static, fixed compositions that can be decoded to uncover the meanings that Antonioni intended, through a detached and distanced viewing process. The chapter as a whole aims to interrogate such readings of the film, arguing for a conceptualisation that will privilege fluctuation and movement in the film's compositions, and in particular in Antonioni's close-ups. Mroz examines how L’Avventura presents a temporalized space thematically (in the journey to a location considered primitive and elemental), as well as how landscapes shown in depth encourage a temporalized process of viewing. Depth in the film emerges as an aesthetic strategy, as well as thematising a particular process of disappearing into an unknowable space, which is the fate of L’Avventura's Anna. The presentation of images in duration, in their modulation between surface and depth, destabilises the efforts made by critics to abstract them from temporal flow. The film tends to extend those moments when the characters are performing everyday actions or have left the frame, moments that have been called temps morte, or dead times. This chapter explores how these moments slow the pace of the film and contribute to its lingering rhythms, arguing that such moments encourage us to attend to the fluctuation of the images that pass before us, in a process of aesthetic pleasure.

Keywords: Composition; Depth; Deleuze; Landscape; Temps morte; Pace; Close-ups

Chapter.  18231 words. 

Subjects: Film

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