Michelangelo Antonioni began as an architect, and his early training shows. Of all filmmakers, he has perhaps the greatest plastic ability - a genius for framing and composing images of our contemporary landscape. Once he shows you Turin or London or Madrid or Death Valley, it tends to be the way you see it forever, afterwards, he also has an affinity for the barren, emptily sensual recesses of the upper middle class, and he can convey erotic desperation and modern malalen better than almost anyone. "L'Avventura" is the film that made his world reputation and it probably remains his most perfect film; it's an odd "mystery" story about a pleasure cruise off the cost of Sicily. A girl disappears; her suitor and her best friend begin searching for her. The movie becomes a classic study in frustration; the girl is never found, and her pursuers gradually come face to face with their own emptiness, impotence and amorality. "L'Avventura" is so elliptic and uncompromising that many people find it maddening "When is something going to happen? is the most persistent complaint by those audiences who are, of course, missing everything that is happening. It's unquestionably a masterpiece, and one of the key works of the postwar Italian cinema.