Thursday, February 28, 2013

Michelangelo Antonioni: L'eclisse / Eclipse (Part I)

Michelangelo Antonioni's  L'eclisse / Eclipse (1962) is an excellent antidote to the speed of life. Everything, even the Italian stock market, is slowed down and looked at with observant eyes. Antonioni seems to particularly enjoy contemplating rustling leaves, the way the wind moves things around, the way a fan blows air onto a woman's hair, a person's clothes. Fantastic black and white shot compositions, deliberately slow pace, intense interactions among people and architecture and space, both interior and exterior. You soon come to realize this is reminiscent of a horror film, only without horror, unless by horror you mean human existence itself. This is David Lynch country without any physical violence. Wonderful stuff so far. 

As far as plot, not much has happened yet. Vittoria (Monica Vitti) leaves Ricardo, her compadre (Francisco Rabal -- who is terrific as the title character in Luis Buñuel's 1959 outing Nazarin, among many other films). Ricardo tries to change her mind and seemingly fails. She wanders around, shows up at the stock exchange, a noisy madhouse -- until a long moment of silence is delivered for a stock broker who has just died of a heart attack. Vittoria's mother is there, absorbed by stock trading and money. So is Piero (Alain Delon), a stock broker aquaintance who wins a gamble. They go outside, and Vittoria wanders through a section of Rome.

[To be continued].

Today's Rune: Partnership.

1 comment:

jodi said...

She sounds like an interesting woman...