Monica Vitti 1931–2022

Fifteen years ago, as I mentioned here, I chanced on this photo of Monica Vitti on the web. A sudden jolt from the past, as I had a framed copy of that very shot on my wall as a student for five or six terms.

About the same time, I saw L’Avventura again after a gap of many, many years. I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t really expecting the film to stand up after four decades, and had expected that it would seem too mannered and pretentious. But I was completely bowled over anew: bleak but stunning still.

The image of the young woman who played Claudia in L’Avventura and Vittoria in L’Ecclise, so beautiful and so touching, haunted and entranced many of us who watched her back then. And yes, it was an image. But still, a moment of real sadness to hear today of Monica Vitti’s death.

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