Archive for May 3rd, 2009


by Allan Fish

(Italy 1962 125m) DVD1/2

Aka. The Eclipse

Images of the human soul

p  Raymond Hakim, Robert Hakim  d  Michelangelo Antonioni  w  Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, Elio Bartolini, Ottiero Ottieri  ph  Gianni de Venanzo  ed  Eraldo da Roma  m  Giovanni Fusco  art  Piero Poletto

Monica Vitti (Vittoria), Alain Delon (Piero), Francisco Rabal (Riccardo), Louis Seigner (Ercoli), Rosanna Rory (Anita), Marella Ricciardi (Marta), Lilla Brignone,

Here I must acknowledge that, as taglines go, it’s rather pretentious, yet also, in retrospect, rather glib.  And glib is one word that cannot be ever attributed to director Michelangelo Antonioni.  Baffling?  Often.  Slow?  Very often.  Cerebral?  You betcha.  But glib?  A definite no.  L’Eclisse is certainly one of the remotest films of Antonioni’s career, which is saying something when you consider his numerous other contenders.  Many have accused him of being a director embraced by the intelligentsia and his work as now dated.  And indeed, when I first saw the film in my late teens it was not without a certain head-scratching and a sense of being underwhelmed.  In truth, Antonioni is one of those eclectic directors – along with Godard, Tarkovsky, Rivette and even Buñuel – whom are probably not best seen by someone who has not, shall one say, reached a certain level of maturity.  Over fifteen years on, it’s a different story and just as Dilys Powell said all those years ago; “at the second viewing, the passion breaks through.”  (more…)

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