Although much has been written about Antonini’s cinematography; his use of space and his sort of science fiction ultra stylized images, this short video is focused in shape, and more precisely in his kind of abstract frames in L’avventura, La notte and L’eclisse.
I would say that this trilogy is very much made of all that is not there. Absence, vacuity, silence, all that to compose the so called “alienation”.
In that sense, these abstractions fit in the construction of an atmosphere that is in a way inexplicable: shapeless, wordless. I don’t think they are there to illustrate the ‘disconnection’, but rather to create an atmosphere of misunderstanding. Maybe one of the hints of this could be Piero’s statement to Monica in L’eclisse “i feel like im in a foreign country”: all the familiarity has been stripped away by removing figures.
He is in fact addressing a feeling, that’s why this abstractions make perfect sense in this empty worlds where his wandering characters get lost and walk with no apparent purpose heading nowhere.
This does not try to illustrate “empty” framing and the “alienation” (maybe better expressed through characters behind windows in L’eclisse, or La notte’s architecture concrete blocks in relation to human scale). Since the absence of human characters does not necessarily mean empty this abstractions work the other way around, not by removing human presence but rather by removing shape.
Although some of this shots are then ‘signified’ by the appearance of a character in frame, they still work in constructing the ennui atmosphere. I found this in L’avventura, but then increases his use of them without human shape, notable in La notte but specially in L’eclisse and it’s masterful ending.
I hope someone else enjoys seeing this beautiful abstract paintings as much as I do.
** I do not own the rights of this films. This is just for educational purposes only.