Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wendy's Films of 2010 #27: L'Eclisse (1962)

It seems fitting that I would praise Errol Flynn's wondrous laugh in my last review, just to go on and admire Monica Vitti's sunny laughter in Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Eclisse. Every shot of her is like looking at a stunning photograph, in fact most shots in the film are. After ending a serious relationship, Vittoria wanders the city and eventually meets a young capitalistic man who seems more eager to attain beautiful possessions than meaningful relationships. The film's meaning is vague, but also strong. Films like these seem to be more concerned with creating emotion than fulfilling a plot. Whether Antonioni is attempting to comment on consumerism, industrialization or the immensity of the world around us, it evokes feelings of uncertainty, happiness and asks questions that might never be entirely answered. Vittoria lives on the outskirts of the town, where the roads are wide, new buildings are being built and space feels too open. This is contrasted with the apartments of her male and female friends, which are filled with seemingly empty possessions, closed off with curtains and shutters. Vittoria is a breath of life into these spaces; her smile offers hope and her childlike desire to run through fields or admire a man's drawing of flowers feels like Antonioni's way of seeing through the problems she and the rest of the world encounter.

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