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The passing of filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni is extremely sad. The painstaking detail he crafted his films, their narratives, point of views and environments is something of timeless cinema beauty. When watching his films, whether it’s the first time or the 58th viewing, there always seems to be something new popping up, some moment or detail you had missed before. He took the creation aspects and their worlds to a whole new intimate meaning. His work will live on and continue to be remembered, baffled over and debated to the early morning hours over hot cups of coffee.
In the July 1962 issue of Theatre Arts, it had a nice and yet very brief introduction on the film from both Monica Vitti and Michelangelo Antonioni. Their introductions follow:
Michelangelo Antonioni on L’Eclisse (1962):
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How can I tell you the story of Eclipse? A story of imprisoned sentiments if told in a few words is ruined. It can lose all its significance. Even though I start out knowing the story, my films change constantly as I make them. I never follow a fixed story line or pattern. Eclipse, for instance, is about a young working woman who leaves a man because she no longer loves him, and then leaves another man because she still loves him.
The world today is ruled by money, greed for money, fear of money. This leads to a dangerous passivity towards problems of the spirit. Love is affected by this too, and the woman Vittoria of my film, who has just walked out on an unfortunate relationship meets Piero, a stock broker, who might be the one love of her life, but this man is locked up in his world of investments, speculations. He is lost in the convulsive activity of the market. The market governs his every action, even his way of loving.
Monica Vitti on L’Eclisse (1962):
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I can only say that our new film is the story of a love that lasts for a short time – as brief as an eclipse. Vittoria has little in common with Claudia in L’Avventura or Valentina in La Notte. All she has in common with them is a need to understand, to get to the bottom of things, to let herself be understood. But she is less sophisticated than either Claudia or Valentina. She comes from a middle class family, has a modest job as a translator and is fairly well educated.
The role was the most difficult one I ever played. Vittoria is simples and complex; and in reality I am nothing like her. I refuse with all my being to accept the truth that she accepts: the fragility of relationships and their inevitable end. That’s why I was almost afraid of the role.
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Theatre Arts Magazine, July 1962.
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