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Film Programs
Ipersignificato: Umberto Eco and Film
L’Avventura followed by Stagecoach

December 28 at 12:30
East Building Auditorium

An enigmatic, open-ended film that signaled a new order in cinematic method, L’Avventura did not require conventional narrative or resolution to establish its aesthetic authority. Though ostensibly a mystery involving a missing woman, the film is more a psychological play that builds tension through impressions of space and time, and particularly landscape. From the Tyrrhenian Sea and Aeolian Islands to the Sicilian port town of Milazzo, the film’s rugged, wide-screen landscapes retain a primitive, mystic power. (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960, 35mm, subtitles, 143 minutes)

Umberto Eco refers to the Aristotelian craft at work in Stagecoach, an embodiment of art “confirming conventional views of the world.” Director John Ford wrote, “I found the story for Stagecoach in Collier’s. It wasn’t well developed, but the characters were good. ‘This is a great story,’ I thought, and I bought it for a small amount. . . . Westerns — I never look at them, but I love to make them.” The film was shot in the natural wonder of the red-sand Monument Valley and features John Wayne as an outlaw seeking revenge for the murder of his father and brother. (John Ford, 1939, 35mm, 96 minutes)

still from Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
courtesy United Artists/Photofest

Film Program

The National Gallery of Art’s film program provides many opportunities throughout the year to view classic and contemporary cinema from around the world. 

View the current schedule here.

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