Archive for the ‘ 1962 / L’Eclisse ’ Category

The Night, The Eclipse, The Dawn (November 1964)

Your three previous films, L’avventura, La notte, The Eclipse gave, the impression of developing out of one another and standing along the same line of inquiry. And now you seem to have reached a new destination with Red Desert. For the ‘woman in the film, perhaps, it is a desert but for you, it is something fuller; more complete: it’s a film about the whole world and not just about the world of today.

For the moment, it’s very hard for me to talk about Red Desert. It’s too recent a film. I’m still too close to the “intentions” that drove me to make it; I don’t have the clarity of thought and the detachment necessary to judge it correctly. Still, I think I can say that this time I haven’t made a film about feelings. The results that I had obtained from my previous films – good or bad as they may be – have by now become obsolete. The question is completely different. At one time, I was interested in the relationships of characters to one another. Now, instead, the main character must confront her social environment, and that’s why I treat the story in a completely different way.

It’s too simplistic to say – as many people have done – that I am condemning the inhuman industrial world which oppresses the individuals and leads them to neurosis. My intention – and I realize that one always knows where one starts off, but very rarely where one is going to – my intention was to translate the poetry of that world, in which even factories can be beautiful. The lines and curves of factories and their chimneys can be more beautiful than the outline of trees, which we are already too accustomed to seeing. It is a rich world, alive and serviceable. Continue reading


The Eclipse (October 1975)

Thirteen years ago, The Eclipse appeared as the film that would complete the existential discourse that began with L’avventura and was followed by La notte. Their common theme was alienation and the crisis of emotions within a bourgeois context. The Eclipse ended with the total silence of the human voice, with man reduced to a simple object. How would you represent middle­ class man today? The same way you represented him then or would you give him a different destiny? 

I would say that the bourgeoisie of that time was quite different from the one of today. From what it’s possible to understand – from things that happen every once in a while, most of all in Italy – it seems to me that the middle-class is very much involved in social and political life in order to defend its privileges, but also because of an internal corruption, which will eventually bring the middle-class, I believe, to its extinction. Society is proceeding along certain channels where it’s difficult to find a way out. I am neither a sociologist nor a politician, but it seems to me that – not only in Italy, but throughout the world – we are moving toward a certain type of society. The middle-class is showing signs of deterioration with its “angry” reaction to the leveling-out that is taking place in society. Therefore, if I had to make The Eclipse today, I would be even harder on them, more violent.

In the film I directed thirteen years ago, there are signs of violence that are connected with money. Today it would be even more so. It probably would no longer be connected with the Stock Exchange, because the Stock Exchange – although it still survives-already shows signs of its ineffectiveness. Probably – but I am not sure of it – the society of tomorrow will no longer have a need for the Stock Exchange. The changes in the price of gold, of the dollar, of the lira, the “monetary serpent” and all of these things so difficult to follow (I studied finance when I was at the University and it was so abstruse that I had to strive hard to pass the exams) are manifestations of mechanisms that are getting more and more “rusty.” I could be mistaken, but on the outside, to a non­ expert like me, that’s how things look. And yet the survival of the middle­ class is tied to these mechanisms. I am not making a political statement, nor am I speaking as an economist of the left would. I am speaking as a fIlmmaker, as someone who is used to looking at reality, to drawing certain conclusions from events, from facts, from feelings. I would say that The Eclipse is still a modern film in that its protagonists are people who do not believe in feelings – that is, they limit them to certain things. Continue reading