Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Lilla Brignone, Francisco Rabal,
L’eclisse opens with a nearly wordless sequence in which Vittoria (Monica Vitti), within the art-strewn walls of her lover’s home, breaks off their affair. Vittoria drifts downtown and into a love affair with her mother’s young stockbroker, Pierre (Alain Delon). Frenzied scenes of the Stock Exchange provide a hub for this film’s seminal study of personal relationships in modern society. Men embrace as they whisper treacherous secrets, while Vitti/Vittoria, when touched, recoils like an animal; when she is kissed it is as if she is sinking in quicksand. But she seeks after symbols of freedom, dreams of Africa, wild dogs, airplanes. L’eclisse ends with a seven-minute montage of shots of the spots where Vittoria and Pierre met—a montage over time in which neither of the characters appears. It would be the consummation of Antonioni’s “sensual apprehension of intellectually charged space” (Richard Peña) were it not for the fact that Red Desert and The Passenger came after.