For Reel

L’Eclisse (1962)
August 7, 2015, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
4 Stars
L'EclisseThe culmination of Michelangelo Antonioni’s trilogy of modern alienation, L’Eclisse is a film of uncertainty and vagueness, a reveling in contradictions. While the scenes set on stock-exchange floors might play as simplistic denigrations of capitalism in other hands (even the apocalyptic hands of Antonioni himself in Zabriskie Point), one can’t deny the sense of vitality and life, a contrast to the expected ennui. Similarly, as with Red Desert, L’Eclisse’s Rome has the look of a science fiction utopia, with the early appearance of a modern EUR water reservoir resembling a mushroom cloud. Yet it is still a world that is enchanting in its mysteriousness, and the fragmentation of buildings transforms them into abstract works of modern beauty. Occasionally, these contradictions seem unnecessary–why does Alain Delon, initially mimicking the enthusiasm of the stockbrokers, eventually become an puppet of blank expression? Certainly themes related to alienation and failures of communication could be present even without reverting to such a listless, object-performance? Regardless, the final abstract sequence of L’Eclisse is a beautiful summation of Antonioni in this period, showing an affinity for the mystery and permanence of setting and a surprising nonchalance towards his characters.