A Criterion Bluray of Michelangelo Antonioni‘s L’eclisse (The Eclipse) will street on 6.10. I once “taught” a UCLA extension class about this 1962 landmark film. I’m using quotes because all I did was introduce it in a rambling, half-assed fashion (“It’s a movie about nothing, but you’ll remember it for the rest of your life”) and I screened the DVD. I then showed the class the following essay piece, “Elements of Landscape”, (’05) which is included on the Criterion DVD. It’s worth watching right now as it sums up the whole Antonioni asthetic — the entire ball of wax — in 22 minutes.

I don’t understand why Criterion chose to mask their L’Avventura DVD at 1.77:1 but crop La Notte and L’eclisse at 1.85:1. Why? What could possibly be gained by slicing off the tops and bottoms of an image that was definitely captured and most likely presented in European cinemas and perhaps also in American ones at 1.66? It’s perverse.