L’Eclisse (1961)

Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni, with Monica Vitti and Alain Delon (DVD)

The third time I’ve seen this film. It’s both particular – the alienation of the Italian bourgeoisie in a fast-changing world gives it distance – and somehow universal through Vitti’s sudden delight in mundane sights and sounds, like the noise of the wind. She seems to be searching for other ways of living – in the odd blackface scene, or at the small airport where she seems to consider the possibilities of the rest of the world (in a similar way, she considered the placing of objects within a frame in the opening scene of the film). Her real world is disquieting (that weird architecture!) and cold, and she is unable, despite her flashes of human warmth, to communicate with either her dumped intellectual lover or Delon’s fast-living stockbroker.

It could be a boring and tiresome film, but somehow it isn’t – that’s about all I can say.

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