L'Eclisse review – Antonioni's strange and brilliant film rereleased | Film | The Guardian
Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Eclisse (The Eclipse) is a star-crossed love Delon) shortly after ending a relationship with a much older man. Ahead of the re-release of the film L'Eclisse, the director's widow reflects on their anguished relationship, his personal demons and She ended up staying the night (though she says he had no idea she was so young). Even at the end of L'eclisse, when the awaiting camera registers, around the sense of narrative expectancy, a search for connection in the midst of alienation.
Throughout this scene, Ricardo is often seen sitting on a chair while Vittoria is standing up, already ready to go. As she seeks an exit, her longing to escape can be seen when she desperately peers through the curtain at the dawn world outside, only to find herself imprisoned by the window glass. In this shot, behind the huge glass window, Viittoria faces, for the first time in the movie, the strang e modern setting of her neighborhood: As the very first shot of the film suggests it, Ricardo is linked to the inanimate objects of his apartment whereas Vittoria seems to refuse this objectification of her person.
In this first shot see screenshot 1a series of books, a lamp and a white formless thing can be seen in a motionless composition. Among the objects of his apartment, Ricardo was off-frame, decentered, unable to provide his human presence to the camera and thus objectified.
L'Eclisse - Wikipedia
On the opposite, Vittoria moves constantly. However, it would be too simplistic to reduce that scene to a dreadful objectification of human presence. For instance, throughout this scene the ubiquitous presence of the fan can be seen either as the increasing dominance of objects in human life or either as the salvation for Vittoria, a momentum for her departure. Here one has to ask a fundamental question for the rest of this essay: Antonioni answers these two questions rather ambiguously.
For example, when Vittoria first meets with Piero at the stock exchange, they are seen in a shot which decomposes the frame in three equal spaces see screenshot 3: One the other hand, Antonioni also stages moments where the modern landscape becomes somehow lively, where objects have an existence of their own. Here, one can think of the telephones which keep ringing at the stock exchange while the stockbrokers are having a minute of silence for one of their recently deceased colleague.
The intensity of her gaze enables a positive rediscovering of the world that surrounds her. Then, non-human existence will obviously be accentuated in the very last scene of the film.
Throughout the movie, modernist architecture the best example being the mushroom-like tower and historical buildings are intermingled; technological inventions, whose usefulness is more or less obvious, are used by characters e. For instance, when Vittoria flies to Verona she seems perfectly serene and peaceful saying to Marta: However, just after this sentence, Antonioni cuts back to the noisy crowded stock market. As William Arrowsmith remarked in his book: The purpose of this kind of cutting is not merely contrast but rather incongruity of mood and tempo, the effort to describe time itself as dissonant, discontinuous, disjointed violent alternation of landscapes: But the rhythm of time is also shattered 1.
Drawing on the Neorealist temps mort, Antonioni goes even further when he decides to slow down or even sometimes stop the narrative plot in order to privilege hollow moments, digressions, where he frees the event from its subordination to the narrativ.5 Signs to Leave a Relationship
In some scenes, nothing happens except an experience of awareness, awareness of the world and of the self in transaction with the world. Moreover, thanks to the dialectical use of two successive scenes with distinct tempo and mood, Antonioni succeeds at increasing the effect of his temps mort.
A lot of critics have dismissed the middle of the film at the stock market because of its repetitiveness and non-attractive atmosphere. As the few allusions to sexuality suggest 3 see screenshot 4the ritual of the stock exchange is linked to a sexual impulse.
But it reaches a culmination in his films with Vitti, which display a peculiar intimacy between director and actress similar, in some ways, to that between Godard and Karina, and no doubt in both cases having something to do with the fact that director and actress were intimate in real life.
She was a little-known actress; he had directed some remarkable films, but this was the one that made him famous. And it made her famous along with him. Greatly admired by some, quite disliked by others, Antonioni gained renown as a maker of films short on action and long on the spaces in between.
But even if nothing much is happening, those empty spaces, those intervals of an uncertain modernity, are fraught with intimations of something that has happened or is about to happen, narrative paths that may be taken.
And though Vitti inhabits those spaces tentatively, quizzically, in the way of someone who feels like a stranger in her own land, she brings a lively presence to that landscape of absence and a sense of narrative expectancy, a search for connection in the midst of alienation. But Antonioni is a detective faced with a mystery too large and implicative to admit of a solution.
In the first one, Vittoria, after having been up all night in a draining quarrel with the lover she has decided to leave, arrives at the market, the Borsa in the center of Rome, looking for her mother, wishing to talk to her about the love affair that has just ended. But her mother is too preoccupied with the financial to talk about the personal, and Vittoria observes the hectic activity of the market as an uncomprehending outsider, taken aback yet curious about the strange spectacle, the energy unleashed in the pursuit of money.
In its second, longer visit to the market, the camera goes there with an insider, Piero Alain Delonthe stockbroker with whom Vittoria starts a new love affair, but all the same, its point of view remains that of an outsider, immersed in the turbulent proceedings without knowing quite what to make of them.
Girlfriends 18 minutes Vittoria returns to her apartment, and later in the evening a married friend, Anita, shows up. Fascinated with African exoticism, Vittoria has fun role-playing as an African tribal dancer in front o f her friends. But there is also a sense of emptiness in these encounters, a feeling that is effectively enhanced by a shot of Vittoria walking back to her apartment and being distracted by the wind-driven rattling of flag-pole ropes along her walk. Later, Vittoria takes a ride in a small plane with Anita and her husband.
Then she walks about the airfield and stops for a drink at an airport bistro. Vittoria is relaxed and observant of all the new sites and sounds. It seems to be suggested that these plans and structured personal narratives are cutting us off from connectivity with our natural surroundings, including the people around us.
The market is now in a panic, and the stockbrokers are even more hectic in their struggle to avoid catastrophic losses for their investors. But it is the investors who are taking the risks, not so much the stockbrokers. Vittoria learns of an older man who has just personally lost 50 million lire, and out of concern for him, she follows him out of the exchange and into a piazza.
At 67 minutes into the film, Vittoria finally meets up with the stockbroker Piero, who will become her new love interest in the story. Piero tries to kiss Vittoria, but she turns away. Back at his stock exchange office, where Piero has a junior position as a trader, he is seen to be cocky and arrogant — scornfully dismissing and shooing out of his office personal clients who have just lost their life savings in the crash.
L'Eclisse review – Antonioni's strange and brilliant film rereleased
Piero then goes out on a date with a pretty brunette, whom he abuses with cocksure arrogance. With Piero standing outside on the sidewalk, a passing drunk steals his car. Vit toria is troubled about the death, but Piero is crassly only concerned about scratches on his car. Then they begin walking down the street and flirting.
Vittoria is coquettish and encouraging, but at the same time tentative: Or that I loved you much more. Vittoria leaves the office and goes out onto the street.