I am fairly certain that L'eclisse is my favorite film. While I would like to describe the film in depth in an effort to convince people to watch it, any description of the plot would not describe what impresses this film upon my life so much.

For one, there really is no plot. She breaks up with a man, meets a new one, but she doesn't love either of them. That's the entire plot summed up. The real content of the film, is in a certain passion that can be seen in the main character, who cannot love the men in her life. If you just read the film as a discourse on the lonliness of modern life, isolation and all the usual tripe that film critics say, then you are really missing the point of the movie. She tells the man at one point"I wish I either loved you a lot more, or didn't love you at all," but their relationship had aspects more important then anything that could simply be termed as "love."

One can most clearly see this in the last scene. They are laying on a couch together (Monica Vitti always wears beautiful skirts), and and when she gets up to leave they start making fun of all the lovers they had seen on the beach that day. The last joke she makes is about the way they first kissed (with a window pane between them)... they laugh, and touch each other. The scene is of one of those beautiful moments in relationships where two people feel okay being silly around each other. The giddiness a person feel around someone else, when they are not sure why they are giddy, but they know that touching the other person makes them feel that way. The absurdity of how much they want to kiss another person. That their physical body draws you in certain mysterious ways.

That moment is caught forever on film. You can see that she's drawn to him, though she would never be able to connect to him any other way then physically. In the context of the film the physical is all that matters, people are what they do, not what they say. A man is a stock broker, but the the way he deals with his losses describes more deeply who he is. She doesn't love Alain Delon, but she feels drawn to him. She doesn't care for the idea of him, but his physical self haunts her mind.

This is what makes the end of the film probably one of the most important moment in the history of cinematic style. The collection of disconnected shots has been interpreted to signify the lovers possible meeting points (empty, because they will no longer meet), but this interpretation forgets the shots of buses, of people's faces, of lights turning on, of buildings - The collection of object images that make up this shot sequence. The end of the film merely shows you things that exist. Things that are beautiful because they exist. Things that exist for a short while, giving some sort of worth to the world. Things that exist, but will eventually pass away. Like the love affair of two people who don't really love each other.

Buy L'eclisse

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