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  1. I started this as a reply to Micheal Smith's lovely thread starter on L'eclisse and then realized that for all my bitching the last week about nominees that had no discussion threads, I had nominated L'Avvenutra and...it had no discussion thread...so here we go. Thanks for posting on Antonioni, Michael. (I felt kind of bad that you did such a nice post on Underwater and it got no nibbles. I guess in the middle of Top 100 voting isn't necessarily the best time to grab people's attention.) Even though I nominated L'Avventura, it's been a couple of years since I revisited the "trilogy" (or tetrology). I felt like L'Avventura communicated some of the modern alienation and emotional isolation without being entirely bleak. In some ways it feels like the end of the middle of the century rather than the beginning of the end of the century. I guess what I mean by that is that a lot of 20th century lit (especially first half but even into 60s and 70s) feels the need to disavow solutions, values, traditions of the past, but there is still a belief that new answers can be found or that expressing the scariness of breaking with tradition can in some ways still be meaningful. It feels like there is a great sadness here, but I find that sadness more humane and interesting than the bravado of stoicism or the dead-ends of determinism. I don't know if I can express that very well, but the middle of L'Avventura felt to me the first time I watched it like the middle of Psycho..oh, here's a narrative that keeps going after the place where it is supposed to end. And that interests me. What come next for the people who are still alive after the end of the world? That is a question working on both the micro (reaction to trauma) and macro (reaction to displacement, spiritual and social). For that reason, even though as Michael says, these films are formally in opposition to neorealism, I do feel a thematic kinship to the post-war settings of the more A&F canonical films... I think the Top 100 could use an Antonioni film, and while none are easy, L'Avventura is maybe a little more accessible in that its themes emerge as much from the narrative (such as it is) rather than being about form. Michael, would you say that's a fair statement?
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