L’eclisse

I was surprised that it rained a little bit yesterday.  I gave a rather lackluster lecture before leaving.  I stopped to buy a beef burrito, and I sat down in front of the television to watch the Blu-ray disc of Antonioni’s “L’eclisse.”  It was a good film, and quite great for most of its length.  I was struck with how quiet the setting seemed outside the Roman stock exchange.  There was construction going on, and a lot of people passing by on the streets.  The water tower is noticeable in many shots, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the wind blowing the branches of the trees.  Materialism is a theme, but I had to wince at the car that was retrieved from the lake for the making of this film.  I thought that an image that was amusing was the umbrellas with the Coca-Cola logo, although perhaps that wouldn’t be so funny if you were living in Rome in 1962.  Alain Delon made me think of actors like Kevin Bacon, Sam Shepherd, and even Rob Lowe at times.  I don’t know much about Monica Vitti beyond the Antonioni films, although she was in “Modesty Blaise” and “The Phantom of Liberty.”  One thing I got tired of seeing in this film was the kissing through glass.  Vitti’s last film with Antonioni was released in 1981, and reportedly she has Alzheimer’s disease.  She recently turned 85 years old.  The scene where the characters talk about Kenya would offend movie audiences of today, and Vittoria’s reaction is as disturbing as Piero’s self-absorbed ways.  Martin Scorsese thought that this was a bold film, and I do like some of its unusual qualities, like not going for obvious drama.  I wondered where all the people in the city were at various times.  A lot of people praise the last seven minutes of the film.  I am one of the people who started to feel impatient for it to end.  I remember liking “L’avventura” quite a bit, although that was quite some time ago.  I don’t really remember “La notte.”  I liked “Blowup” years ago, but I really hated “Zabriskie Point.”  “The Passenger” was another movie that is now hazy in my memory.  Ingmar Bergman and Orson Welles have described some of Antonioni’s work as boring.  I can understand that.  There are quite a few things that Antonioni has done that I can’t stand.  Still, he reached some heights that most other film director never approached, and so I have to give him some credit.  Some of the people who died on November 16 include Clark Gable (1960), Harry Blackstone (1965), Ralph Edwards (2005), Edward Woodward (2009), and Ronni Chasen (2010).  Today is a birthday for Maggie Gyllenhaal (39), Missi Pyle (44),4). Martha Plimpton (46), and Shigeru Miyamoto (64).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 16, the album “Bette Midler,” which featured “In the Mood and would reach Number Six on the Billboard album chart, was released in 1973.  In 1987, Paul McCartney released the single “Once Upon a Long Ago,” originally written for the movie “The Princess Bride” and intended as a duet with Freddie Mercury.

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