Michelangelo Antonioni, most admirable director from Italy, passed away in July, 2007 at the age of 94. Critics state that Antonioni was to cinema as Picasso to painting. Antonioni films in 1960s Red Desert, L’Avventura, La Notte, L’eclisse (Eclipse) are considered to be master pieces and classics in cinema. “In the empty, silent spaces of the world, he has found metaphors that illuminate the silent places our hearts, and found in them, too, a strange and terrible beauty; austere, elegant, enigmatic, haunting,” (Jack Nicholson, The Passenger (1975) )
Antonioni is considered not only as one of the best film director, also a master of modernism which reflected in all the films of Antonioni. “It was not until the late 1950’s that the language of modernism would be inscribed fully into narrative film, with the arrival of Michelangelo Antonioni. ” (Glen Norton, Canadian expert) “When a scene is being shot, it is very difficult to know what one wants it to say. And even if one does know, there is always a difference between what one has in mind and the result on film.
I never think ahead of the shot I’m going to make the following day because if I did, I’d only produce a bad imitation of the original image in my mind. So what you see on the screen doesn’t represent my exact meaning, but only my possibilities of expression, with all the limitations implied in that phrase” (Michelangelo Antonioni) There were many criticisms as well compliments for the films produced by Michelangelo Antonioni. In one of the interview by an Italian magazine in the year1980, there was a question “For whom do you make films? ” To this question, Antonioni replied “
“I do it for it an ideal spectator who is this very director. I could never do something against my tastes to meet the public. Frankly, I can’t do it, even if so many directors do so. And then, what public? Italian? American? Japanese? French? British? Australian? They’re all different from each other. ” There is an international success for the films of Michelangelo which carried exclusive and unique style of european sentiments that have won the laurels of audience for all the films especially Eclipse wherein societal and communal status of various personalities as characters have been shown in the film.
The film carried a message to the audience creating a new wave of modest life style in Europe. Three films L’avventura (1960), La notte (1961) and L’eclisse (1962) is termed as trilogy for all the three films carried a similarity and picturised about the alienation of man within the modern society. With the great success of these films, Michelangelo was awarded a special jury prize at Cannes Film Festival in 1960. Conclusion
Eclipse is a film that is made on old society that differentiated the opinions between rich and poor, racism, attitudes which were close to the resemblance prevailing in those times. The subject and theme of the film is general whereas, the tussle of emotions is neatly picturised along with the picturisation of political and economic pressure that takes place in a stock exchange (city of Rome) which is truly appreciating.
References Antonioni Accessed 16 February, 2008 from http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2007/07/31/antonioni-obit.html