Michaelangelo Antonioni's L'ECLISSE (ECLIPSE) is a visually stunning film with a strange, abstract plotline. Monica Vitti stars as Vittoria, a beautiful woman who, in the opening scene of the movie, dumps her boring boyfriend Riccardo (Francisco Rabal). Vittoria's mother (Lilla Brignone) passes her time at the stock exchange, watching the numbers rise and fall as if her whole life depends on the next high or low. In contrast, Vittoria wanders the streets of the city unhindered, dreaming, floating independently and waiting for whatever fate befalls her. She begins an affair with a powerful, handsome, emotionally vacant stockbroker, Piero (Alain Delon). Their relationship is fun, flirtatious, risky, and dangerous all at once--but mostly, it is an expression of true human affection, which the other characters in L'ECLISSE seem to lack. However, the plot of L'ECLISSE is hardly Antonioni's focus. As sweeping pans of the calm, dusty streets mix with the intense cacophony of the stock exchange, the director compares and contrasts the structure of city life with the still, silent aspects of a more natural environment, observing society's evolution into a technological monolith. L'ECLISSE is part of a trilogy of Antonioni films, along with LA NOTTE and L'AVVENTURA.
Cannes Jury Prize 1962