Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura might have a hell of a time being released in theaters today. His trilogy of films starring the beautiful actress Monica Vitti (expanded into a quartet if you include Red Desert) contemplate the experience of a bored, frustrated woman in a heavily industrialized society ruled by false ideals of consumerism and power. The end of the world was not an apocalyptic fire, but a deadening malaise waking up in the dawn of the dead. There's no exit, whittling away the days with the distraction of fast food and shopping malls.
In 1960, L'Avventura was a box office smash despite its harsh critical reception at Cannes, where frustrated critics misunderstood its open-ended message for pure emptiness. What they lacked the ability to see was that very emptiness becoming the core message. This can also be said for Zack Winestine's challenging new film, States of Control, which picks up right where Antonioni left off. The times have changed, and this heroine, Lisa (brilliantly played by Jennifer van Dyck, Series 7) is not content to live a life of passive alienatation. She's gonna blow her superficial life apart and create something authentic and new, no matter what the cost.
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