In his ritual whipping of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, critic Armond White called Coppola out for the total cop-out of planting her processed, instant ennui in a foreign setting. Seeking “parallels with the early-’60s alienation dramas of Antonioni (L’Avventura) and Fellini (La Dolce Vita),” the director, wrote White, missed the point entirely: “Who doesn’t feel strange in a foreign country! Antonioni and Fellini understood that it was the alienation one felt at home that shook the soul.” This most potent strain of homegrown soul death is the underlying theme of the National Gallery of Art’s “Michelangelo Antonioni: The Italian Treasures” series, an eight-part adventure in indigenous anomie and purpose-free modernity. Opening with Luca Verdone’s presentation of his documentary on the man’s life and melancholy work (Michelangelo Antonioni; at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 19), the retrospective features Antonioni’s most important Italian-made films, including La Signora senza camelie (Lady Without Camellias), Il grido (The Outcry), and 1955’s Le amiche (The Girlfriends), Antonioni’s first critical hit (preceded by his early neo-realist documentary, Gente del Po, at 4:30 p.m., Wed., July 27). The loose trilogy of existential exhaustion that is L’Avventura (The Adventure), La notte (The Night), and L’eclisse (The Eclipse) round out the exquisite misery, with Antonioni’s first color film, the gorgeously inhospitable Deserto rosso (Red Desert), marking the end of his long, languid onscreen affair with the lonesome homeland,and bringing the retrospective to a close. The series runs to Sunday, August 24, at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 737-4215; see for a complete schedule.