Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Uncertain Future: L'eclisse

L'eclisse (1962) - Antonioni

It's Italy in the 60s: time of affluence. Modernity reflects on cityscapes and interiors(a lot of phallic symbolism, slick furniture and appliances). Vittoria(Monica Vitti), first seen breaking up with her lover, is an indecisive, bored little slut. She goes on her suburban bourgeois life, horsing around with her bored housewife neighbors until she meets Piero(Alain Delon), her greedy mother's stockbroker. Their cat and mouse affair comes across as more juvenile than anything- almost naive and childlike against the cold and alienating backdrop. Vitti is Antonioni’s Anna Karina here: playful, endearing, full of childish charms and wide smiles. Delon comes across as a grown high school jock in his cat like demeanor and boyish presence. With the use of recurring imagery and motifs, Antonioni shows that these young lovebirds are living in a different world, hinting that their relationship is doomed from the beginning.

The look of the film is nothing short of astounding. With exquisite framing and precise camera movements, L’eclisse is one of the most stylized films I’ve seen. Structurally daring 10 minute silent ending threw me off a bit. First I thought it was too obvious and way over the top. But more I think about it, the more I like it and befits the film better as a whole.

L’eclisse has a very little but effective unsettling soundtrack. At the end with the montages, I was secretly hoping the Edge’s guitar riff from Where the Streets Have No Name to kick in.