L’Eclisse (1962)

L’Eclisse
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Written by Michelangelo Antonioni and Tonino Guerra
1962/Italy/France
Cineriz/Interopa Film/Paris Film
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental
One of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Piero: I feel like I’m in a foreign country.

Vittoria: Funny. That’s how I feel around you.

In which the “modern” dilemma seems to be an inability to articulate one’s reasons.

The setting is Rome.  As the story begins, Vittoria (Monica Vitti) is attempting to break up with her fiance Ricardo.  The scene is absolutely packed with pregnant pauses as Vittoria is determined to leave but cannot explain the necessity for doing so.  She only knows it is over.  She goes to the stock market to announce her decision to her mother, an investor, but mom is caught up in the frenzied buying and selling and Vittoria sadly cannot get through to her.  Here we briefly meet Piero (Alain Delon), the mother’s broker, who is also totally obsessed with the game.  Vittoria later fails to get any comfort from her girlfriends.

At lose ends, Vittoria allows Piero to pursue her.  Brief surrender to a love affair with the materialist can hardly satisfy her restlessness.

Using mostly non-verbal cues Antonioni perfectly captures the disgust and confusion of a chic young woman.  The process is interesting and beautiful but the film left me with an empty feeling and I doubt I will be watching it again.

Restoration Trailer