OTB#48: L’eclisse

L’eclisse. Michelangelo Antonioni. 1962. ⚅

Oh, L’eclisse… not Réglisse… So this isn’t a French movie about liquorice, but an Italian movie about an eclipse.

Makes more sense.

[time passes]

OH MY EMACS! Everything in this movie is so gorgeous! The performers, the lighting, the costumes, the interiors, the framing, the film stock, the 2K transfer… And there’s no music telling us how to feel! I could watch this forever.

The only scenes I don’t find riveting are (ironically enough, don’t you think?) the stock market scenes. They just seem… forced? You could pretty much tell from the first scene (where Delon (and mom) made money) that there was going to be another scene with a stock market crash, and that’s not like the rest of the film at all: Throughout the rest of the scenes, there’s a thrilling feeling of not knowing where all this is going.

It’s not a perfect movie. There’s about… a quarter? of the movie that’s kinda less gripping. (From the crash and the following… 30? minutes?) It’s the bit where Monica Vitti can’t decide whether to fuck Alain Delon or not. OK, his character is a shallow, horrible human being, but c’mon. He’s Alain Delon.

But despite his Delonness, it’s the scenes where there’s just Monica Vitti and nobody else that’s the most striking. They’re really something. It’s hard to stop screenshotting because every shot is just wonderful. She manages to be this blank presence… very different from, say, Liv Ullman (in Bergman’s movies), but still as fascinating.

Oh, and it’s not a movie completely devoid of a soundtrack: There’s two scenes near the end, where music is used extremely efficiently.

This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

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