MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI’S L’ECLISSE — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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I could watch this stunning movie ever single day. Still as fascinating and as stylish as ever, the 1962 film L’Eclisse truly defies description. Monica Vitti was as alluring as it gets, and I am not sure if there has ever been a classier on-screen presence than Alain Delon. Michelangelo Antonioni made some all-time classics and this one has to be considered one of his best. The film feels like a poem, a glimpse into the life of a woman in flux, drifting from one encounter to the next, never fully sure of herself or the world around her. The final 10 minutes are beguiling in their strangeness and open-ended nature. The Criterion Collection, yet again, have delivered a ravishingly beautiful Blu-ray transfer; it looks like it was shot yesterday, with the sexy black and white images revealing untold depth and clarity. Gianni Di Venanzo’s illustrious cinematography is positively engrossing upon immediate sight, with every silky, dreamy image folding into the next, while always stressing open space and how people are placed within the frame. Everything about this movie screams pure cinema, and the trifecta of L’Eclisse, L’Avventura, and La Notte register as three of the most personal and fascinating films to explore similar themes and artistic motifs that I can think of. Blowup or The Passenger might be my overall favorite works from this extraordinary filmmaker, but there’s something so mysterious, so transfixing about L’Eclisse that I find myself returning to it on fairly regular basis. The film won the Special Jury Prize and was nominated for the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

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