“[A] probing, poignant and lyrical essay on romance…Antonioni’s love story is much like…sci-fi”
L’Eclisse opens enigmatically by eavesdropping on the death-throes of a relationship that we presume may yet be central to the narrative. A rebound romance with Piero, a distractingly handsome stockbroker, appears to offer Vittoria a salve for the nameless listlessness afflicting her. It is frustrated, however, by the couple’s apparent inability to connect beyond a surface erotic tension, a point tellingly signalled in a memorable set piece shot at the Rome Stock Exchange in which Piero conveys an energy and physical vitality that he is unable to express in private exchanges with Vittoria.
Making few concessions to narrative or stylistic conventions, Michelangelo Antonioni’s third installment in his trilogy on modernity and its discontents after L’avventura (1960) and La notte (1961) challenged audiences by zigging when convention called for a zag. Antonioni's trilogy marked the start of a collaboration with scriptwriter Tonino Guerra which would continue through to the end of his career. Tonino would go on to write Nostalghia with Antonioni-admirer Andrei Tarkovsky.