Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 30th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Italy / France, 1962
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, Elio Bartolini, Ottiero Ottieri
Cast: Alain Delon, Monica Vitti, Francisco Rabal, Lilla Brignone, Rossana Rory, Mirella Ricciardi, Louis Seigner, Cyrus Elias
BluRay released: September 28th, 2015
Approximate running time: 126 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: PG (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Italian, DTS-HD Mono German
Subtitles: English, French, German
BluRay Release: Studiocanal
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £17.99 (UK)
Synopsis: A young woman ends a lengthy relationship with her much older affluent lover and shortly thereafter she has an affair with younger lover. Will she find the happiness that she seeks or will familiar trappings put a stain on her new love affair?
L’Eclisse was co-written and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni one of Italian cinema’s most iconic filmmakers. L’Eclisse is the third film in a trilogy of films directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, the other films which round out this trilogy are L’Avventura and La Notte. Other notable films also directed by Michelangelo Antonioni include, Red Desert, Blow-Up, The Passenger and Identification of a Woman. Key collaborators on L’Eclisse include cinematographer Gianni Di Venanzo (Salvatore Giuliano, 8½, The 10th Victim) and composer Giovanni Fusco (Hiroshima Mon Amour).
Though love stories have served as the foundation of countess other films, it is safe to say that no other directors’ approached the subject matter in the same manner that Michelangelo Antonioni did. He approaches the subject at hand with a less is more approach. Dialog is sparse as each characters actions speaks carries far more weight then the spoken word.
From a production standpoint the film’s stark use of black and white cinematography is remarkable. Also when it comes to this film’s visuals every inch of every frame are fully exploited for maximum effect. And for a film filled with many extraordinary moments visually. None are more visually arresting then the film’s opening and closing moments.
Another one of this film’s strengths and it is also something that is representative of the majority of Antonioni is how they are constructed in such a way that they allow each viewer to come away from the film with their own personal interpretation of the film.
And when it comes to the performances in this film one would be hard pressed to find any faults in any of them. With Monica Vitti (Modesty Blaise, The Phantom of Liberty) in the role of Vittoria, this film’s protagonist. Other performance of note include Alain Delon (Le Samouraï) in the role of Piero the young lover and Francisco Rabal (Belle de Jour) in the role of Riccardo, the older lover. Needless to say the moments where Vitti and Delon interact are the ones that resonates the strongest.
The first thing that you see when you load the Blu-Ray disc is a screen that allows you to choose from one three language options, English, French and German.
L’Eclisse comes on a 50 GB dual layer (39.9 GB) BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Grain looks natural, contrast and black levels look consistently strong. Also image clarity and shadow detail look solid throughout. And there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in Italian and a DTS-HD mono mix in German. There are no issues with background noise, distortion or audio dropouts. Dialog things are always clear and everything sounds balanced. Also when it comes to the more ambient aspects of this soundtrack they are well represented and the film’s score sounds appropriately robust. Also included with this release are three subtitle options, English, French and German.
Extras for this release are limited to an interview with Jose Moure, an Antonioni biographer (26 minutes 15 seconds, in French with English and German subtitles).who discusses, how L’Eclisse is third part in a trilogy of films and its significance as a film which marks a turning point in Michelangelo Antonioni’s evolution as a filmmaker, the look of the film, themes that are explored in the film and how they are linked to Antonioni’s other films, the key to understanding Antonioni as a filmmaker lays in the events and what happens afterwards and his thoughts on L’Eclisse.
Overall L’Eclisse gets a solid release from StudioCanal.
Note: This film is also being released by Studiocanal on DVD.