Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Back to Antonioni ... Vitti goes African ...

A discussion over at IMDb brought up a mention of a racist moment in L'ECLISSE, Antonioni's timeless 1962 film. Presumably this scene was meant where Vitti dresses up as an African - I never considered it racist, but rather charming, where her comedy talent comes to the fore ..... It is a stunning, vivid moment in this mesmerising film, showing the ennui and boredom in these Roman suburbs - no wonder Alain Delon passing by gets Vittoria's interest - after the drunk of course drives Delon's sportscar into the Tiber.  However, having looked at that scene again, the comments of the woman returned from Kenya would indeed be considered racist these days, but this of course was back in the early 60s, 50 years ago ... I wouldn't think it detracts from the overall film though, being just a fragment of a scene early on
The influence of Antonioni seems to grow now - L'AVVENTURA continues to be discovered, it seems more "important" than the empty theatrics of LA DOLCE VITA - well to me anyway. The films are all available now in new editions and continue to interest us.

There is so much I like in L'ECLISSE: Vittoria's pleasure at the plane ride among the clouds, following the man who lost heavily at the stock market, playing at romance with smooth boy Delon, and as here pretending to be African, and then that stunning finale where the camera turns up, but the lovers don't .... as eerie night descends on the city. It was certainly a parable for the atomic age ... 

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