English Title: L’Eclisse
Original Title: L’eclisse
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Billed as the last episode of Michelangelo’s unofficial “Incommunicability Trilogy”, after L’avventura (1960) and La notte (1961), the film’s structure is as elusive as the latter part of L’avventura (a 6/10), while the pathos is not as empowering as La notte (a 8/10). As a result a in-between score of 7 out of 10 is my rating.
It’s an elliptical essay about a mental plight of a woman’s inner state, Michelangelo uses plentiful close-ups to enhance a visceral image of the troubled soul of our protagonist Vittoria (Monica Vitti), and the nihilistic struggle of any frayed individual is so incisive as that one can not get out of its grip afterwards.
It’s inherits the energizing effect of suffering on character, particularly female character throughout the trilogy, Antonioni’s muse Monica Vitti exposes herself without any lines of theatrical rendering, her emotion inward is lumbering and stressful to viewers, which could be divined as the auteur’s intention. Her counterpart, a youthful Alain Delon though billed first, is underplayed, emits very limited evocation compared to Vitti.
The tumultuous control of the stock market scenes is an emblem of Antonioni’s remarkable progress of character introspection under a social context (almost harks back to Hollywood luminary Frank Capra’s expertise). Nearly without any score, a bleak realistic setting with deployment of the natural sound again testify that Antonioni is the backbone of New Wave movement not only in Italy but also in the whole planet!
The commitment to beauty, grace and sensitivity is by and large foregrounded. A marvelous almost 8-minutes-long non-relevant ciphers montage ending is unexpected mesmerizing, and the ending scene of the radiation of street lights converges into a quasi-eclipse phenomenon delivers an impeccable finale for the film and the trilogy, an incommunicably mundane world alone can be an endless source for filmmakers to excavate!