L'Eclisse

"Very Good"

L'Eclisse Review


It's impossible not to sound like a snob when writing about Antonioni's movies -- hell, the guy's name is "Michelangelo" -- but writing about the spare L'Eclisse is the worst job of all.

Antonioni's films rarely vary from a tight thematic script that ranges from melancholy to loneliness to despair. In L'Eclisse, he focuses that beam on Monica Vitti, an almost stereotypically detached Italian woman whose engagement falls apart in the opening scenes of the film -- though it's virtually without dialogue for 15 minutes. Eventually Vitti's Vittoria hooks up with Piero (Alain Delon), and the remainder of the film concerns their relationship -- as it were, anyway.

Piero is a haughty and ambitious stockbroker, the near opposite of the aloof Vittoria. A solid chunk of the film follows Piero on the trading floor of the stock exchange (and despite having an MBA I couldn't begin to fathom how this oddball stock market could possibly have worked). Vittoria idly stands by while Piero screams and shouts -- she might as well be waiting to be hanged.

And yet he's drawn to her. Their dates consist largely of walking around the nearly barren streets of where, Rome? Eventually there is drinking and retiring to a room somewhere. One is reminded of La Dolce Vita, just without anyone enjoying themselves.

Antonioni delves a little too far into the ethereal here for my tastes. One example: Piero tells Vittoria he's going to kiss her when the get across the street. Midway across she replies, "We're halfway" and pauses there. The double meaning is touching yet obvious. But what the hell, why should a little symbolism get in the way of a love story.

Ultimately, Antonioni says that relationships are probably doomed. We'll never understand each other. To live is to die alone. The usual stuff he's explored throughout this rough "trilogy" -- the first two parts being L'Avventura and La Notte. L'Eclisse is a beautiful and often haunting movie, and while one feels the passion that Antonioni puts into his movies, one also gets the slightest sense of a wish that he'd go ahead and grow up a little already.

Now on a gorgeous Criterion DVD , L'Eclisse includes a second disc that documents Antonioni's career, a staid commentary track, various essays, and other assorted goodies.



L'Eclisse

Facts and Figures

Run time: 126 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 20th December 1962

Distributed by: Acacias Cine Audience

Production compaines: Paris Film, Cineriz, Interopa Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Piero, as Vittoria, as Riccardo, Lilla Brignone as Vittoria's Mother, Rossana Rory as Anita, Louis Seigner as Ercoli

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

Advertisement
The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.