L'Eclisse (R/I)

Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni



126 mins



Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Francisco Rabal, Lilla Brignone

A digital restoration of Italian auteur Michelangelo Antonioni’s languorous, beguiling L’Eclisse.

It was the final film in Antonioni’s informal trilogy on contemporary malaise (following L’avventura and La notte), a series that redefined the concept of narrative cinema.

Filmed in sumptuous black and white, and full of scenes of a lush, strange beauty, L’Eclisse follows Vittoria (the beautiful Monica Vitti, Antonioni’s partner at the time), a young woman who leaves her older lover (Francisco Rabal), then drifts into a relationship with a confident, ambitious young stockbroker (Alain Delon). But this foundational narrative is only a starting point for much, much more – including an analysis of the city as a place of estrangement and alienation and an implicit critique of colonialism.

Using the architecture of Rome, old and new, as a backdrop for this doomed affair, Antonioni achieves the apotheosis of his style in this return to the theme that preoccupied him the most: the difficulty of forming true connections amidst the meaninglessness of the modern world. The final shot remains one of the greatest endings in cinema.

Modern Love is Rubbish: Read our Head of Cinemas, David Sin on L’Eclisse’s enduring appeal in BFI Online

This title is no longer available for booking from the ICO

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