The Eclipse First Scene Analysis

1993 Words 8 Pages
In our analysis of The Eclipse, we will first focus on the opening scene which acts as a seminal scene for the rest of the film, as it introduces the dichotomy between objects and humans. The Eclipse’s opening scene takes place in the apartment of Vittoria and Ricardo who just had an argument and are on the verge of breaking their sentimental relationship. However, Antonioni doesn’t give the audience any factual clue about the reason of this rupture. Rather, through the small actions of the two characters and the way they interact with the surrounding objects, Antonioni gives the audience a more profound sense of what is now separating the two former lovers. Throughout this scene, Ricardo is often seen sitting on a chair while Vittoria is …show more content…
Actually, if at one point her immobile legs become momentarily associated to some chairs’ legs (see screenshot 2), she refuses this association and walks in another direction. However, it would be too simplistic to reduce that scene to a dreadful objectification of human presence. For instance, throughout this scene the ubiquitous presence of the fan can be seen either as the increasing dominance of objects in human life or either as the salvation for Vittoria, a momentum for her departure.
Here one has to ask a fundamental question for the rest of this essay: “is the increasing importance of objects in modern life the cause of human’s new alienation, or, on the opposite, is it rather the modern Man’s superficial sense of existence which contrasts with the seeming vitality of some objects?”
On the one hand, it seems that some objects are the rendering of the capitalist’s superficiality, and that objects alienate people from each other. For instance, Piero’s car, a symbol of his masculinity, is traditionally thought of as a tool for seduction, hence linked to Eros. However, in the film, when Piero’s car is stolen by a drunken passerby and is then found in a river with the dead body of the drunken thief, the car is rather linked to Thanatos, the counterpart of Eros. More importantly, through his mise-en-scène, Antonioni stages the physical barrier created by modern objects between
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When the viewer sees the barrel of water wherein a piece of wood floats, he doesn’t pay attention to the piece of wood or to the water flowing out, rather he sees those things as “non-Piero” and “non-Vittoria”. Their role is active because they remind the audience that Piero and Vittoria used to walk among them. Interestingly, the flowing water coming out of the barrel perhaps represents metaphorically the emptying of Piero’s and Vittoria’s passion In this last scene, Antonioni’s mise-en-scène subtly stages a dialectical use of continuous shots and discontinuous shots. The first device is intuitively linked to the human or animal movement. At the beginning of the sequence, the audience is indeed able to see the horse-carriage or the man reading his newspaper in continuous shots rendering the movement. The second device is displayed according to a series of discontinuous and short shots on objects or natural motionless things: bricks, steel rods, wood fences, tree trunks,

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