Monday, May 26, 2014

Blind Spot: L'Eclisse (1962)

Delon and Vitti appear in their only Antonioni film together.

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Produced by Raymond Hakim and Robert Hakim
Written by Michelangelo Antonioni and Tonino Guerra
Starring Alain Delon, Monica Vitti, Francisco Rabal, Lilla Brignone, Louis Seigner, Rossana Rory and Mirella Ricciardi

Plot Summary: A woman (Vitti) falls in love with a stock broker (Delon), only to have their relationship challenged by their different natures.

Significance: As one of Antonioni's most noteworthy films, it was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#74 in the critics poll and #48 in the directors one). It also won the Jury Special Prize award at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Palme d'Or. The film is considered the last part of Antonioni's loose Incommunicability Trilogy, which is preceded by L'Avventura and La Notte.

Thoughts: Antonioni's open-ended approach can be frustrating, though it always proves effective, as it does here. When it comes to this style of filmmaking, the slow pacing can be testing, and this film has a few sequences that do just that. The middle part of the film, particularly the stock exchange sequence, clashes with the scenes involving the lovers' relationship, but it does not detract from an engaging, dreary romance. In a year packed with great performances, Vitti gives a strong turn to match the cream of the crop. Delon delivers a good performance too, but the highlight of the film is Vitti's subtle powerhouse. Despite some reservations about the structure and pace of the film, it ranks as a fine outing for Antonioni and his frequent collaborator Monica Vitti.

Rating: ***1/2

This is the fifth film in my 2014 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.


  1. While I think it's the weakest film of the trilogy, it is still a remarkable film as the trilogy itself is truly Antonioni's masterwork. The ending of this film stuck with me for years. I hope to see more Antonioni soon in terms of his work in the 1950s and the stuff he did in the 1980s and beyond.

    1. I've only seen a few of Antonioni's films, but I prefer Blow-Up, Il Grido and Red Desert to this. Though, I haven't seen La Notte yet.