Sunday, January 21, 2007

January 21st Log

1962, Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy / France
Repeat Vieiwng, DVD

"You're right. Let's make a decision." "I already have. I'm leaving." L'Eclisse is the third and final film of Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni's loose trilogy (following L'Avventura and La Notte). To me it's the finest of the trilogy, and to me Antonioni's greatest cinematic achievement (in fact, I'd rate this among the VERY greatest films of all-time!!!). Much like the previous films of the trilogy (or just about any Antonioni film), L'Eclisse is less focused on plot then it is on themes and visual atmosphere. That is where the greatest beauty of L'Eclisse lies, in the breathtakingly detailed visual imagery and atmosphere. Using little dialogue, and a Rome settingas the canvas, Antonioni poetically views his quintessential examinations of isolation, loneliness, and disconnection. L'Eclisse is a quiet and sad film with a depressing tone of human detachment and alienation. Yet it remains a work of art for the sheer skill in which Antonioni presents it, as well as his definitive actress of the 1960s, Monica Vitti, who gives perhaps her greatest performance here. More then story this is a film of emotional state and it is flawlessly captured through Antonioni's visual imagery. Notice the way he uses space and landscape as a form of expression. It is quite captivating and absolutely remarkable. The final montage moment of the film is a stunning and powerful sequence of master filmmaking as it recaptures the imagesthat we previously seen and felt within the viewers subconscious. Here we see the films world through the backdrop, absent of it's characters. Perfectly executed display in cinema at it's purest artistic form (images and sounds). L'Eclisse, like most of Antonioni's work, may not be for everyone, but to me it rates among the very greatest achievements of Italian cinema. This truly is a personal favorite and a film I have and will continue to revisit!!


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