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L'Eclisse (English Subtitled)


4.4 out of 5 stars (53) IMDb 7.9/10

The concluding chapter of Michelangelo Antonioni's informal trilogy on contemporary malaise, L'eclisse tells the story of a young woman who leaves one lover and drifts into a relationship with another. Using the spaces of Rome as a backdrop for the affair, Antonioni achieves the apex of his style in this return to his greatest theme: the difficulty of connection in an alienating modern world.

Alain Delon, Monica Vitti
2 hours, 6 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, International
Director Michelangelo Antonioni
Starring Alain Delon, Monica Vitti
Supporting actors Francisco Rabal, Lilla Brignone, Rossana Rory, Mirella Ricciardi, Louis Seigner, Cyrus Elias
Studio The Criterion Collection
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
**May Contain Spoilers**

After years of seeking out acceptable VHS copies of L'ECLISSE, at last this elusive, enigmatic, haunting film has come to DVD. To be fair, some VHS copies were not so bad-looking, but few were letterboxed, so many viewers have never seen the film in its original widescreen format. Criterion presents L'ECLISSE in widescreen format and in a clean, beautifully restored print. There is a good amount of rapid flashing in the opening scene, but as we are engulfed in Antonioni's vision of the world this becomes less noticeable. The soundtrack also has the recessed quality familiar from many Criterion releases, but that can be remedied by a volume boost. Apart from these minor criticisms, this is an exemplary release. It may indeed surpass Criterion's edition of L'AVVENTURA in terms of the supplementary material.

On disc two, there is a pair of excellent features: "The Sickness of Eros" features interviews by Antonioni scholars and associates. These people actually have substantial things to say about the film and the director. The other feature, a documentary, "Michelangelo Antonioni: the Eye that Changed Cinema" is a perfect example of its kind. There is a lot of footage of the director discussing his films (and saying interesting things about them) as well as other relevant comments by scholars and collaborators. Of even greater interest are the numerous clips and stills of the director on the set of many of his works. Both these documentary features are eminently re-playable. There is also an informative, film-length commentary by Richard Pena.

L'ECLISSE seems to sum up the ideas that evolve in Antonioni's earlier films from LE AMICHE through LA NOTTE. But it also pares down these ideas and renders them in an abstract, or nearly abstract way.
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Format: VHS Tape
Michelangelo directed a trilogy of sorts in the 1960s, beginning with his breakthrough film L'Avventura, continuing with La Notte, and ending with my personal favorite, L'Eclisse (The Eclipse). All were preoccupied with the theme of alienation, and all featured more or less neurotic and disaffected performances from the striking actress Monica Vitti (as a blond in L'Avventura and L'Eclisse, and as a brunette in La Notte). L'Eclisse begins with the Vitti character's romantic breakup, and continues with her affair with a young stockbroker. The affair is destined for failure, however, as she ultimately finds it impossible to experience meaningful contact with other people. There are several notable sequences in the film - the dull fatigue of the opening breakup scene, raucous and frenetic scenes in the stock market, even Vitti and her friends dressing up and dancing as African natives! The most striking for me, however, is the final several minutes, in which the lovers have agreed to meet but neither shows up, and we see a series of deserted spots (mostly locales from earlier scenes) in a mounting crescendo of emptiness and apathetic horror. The stark and impersonal "modern" sixties architecture, headlines about nuclear terror, and a quietly eerie and horrific musical score combines to make this one of the most powerful sequences ever filmed. It shocks me to learn that when originally released in America the sequence was cut as extraneous!
It's a shame that this masterpiece is currently out of print. There are copies floating around that are dubbed from British sources, and there are also some from an American release several years ago, which had generally very good picture and subtitle quality. I can only hope that someone, maybe Criterion, chooses to release L'Eclisse on DVD - I would give my right arm to get it!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
L'Eclisse visually transcends into an artistic journey through 24 frames per second that displays numerous scenes in which the director Michelangelo Antonioni captures the moment. Each moment offers a unique experience that is passed on to the audience through the eyes of the characters or the audience's own perception. In either case, the visuals play a significant part in this cinematic experience, as it is the visuals that tell the story while dialogue merely adds a little flesh to the bones. Many of these shots that Antonioni provides to the audience could have been free standing photos, or paintings at art museums throughout the world. Thus, L'Eclisse presents a brilliant cinematic experience, as the visuals play with the audience's mind and emotions.

The opening scene begins with a shot of a lamp that illuminates a room while the audience only can see a small portion of the room. What the light from the lamp unveils from the darkness is a number of used books, pen, paper, a painting, and a white shirt elbow. The composition of this scene brings so many things to ponder, as the scene goes on for almost 10 seconds. The audience might experience notions such as wondering what kind of books are there, what kind of painting is in the background, or whose elbow it is that can be seen. However, the most important idea might be missed in this scene, which might be the visual metaphor for enlightenment that is provided by the light. The light brings out these questions from the darkness, as it almost wants to encourage the audience to continue to read into each scene that follows the opening shot, which slowly pans to the right unveiling the identity of person whose elbow has been.
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