The imminent eclipse of the sun is the backdrop for a series of sexual liaisons. Like Max Ophuls' classic "La Ronde", filmed in l950, the lovers come full circle. There is a hollow loneliness at the centre of many of these couplings. A married man tries to soothe his wife about the strength of their union, but she's already had a fling and he's about to begin one with a young boy.
The boy Angelo goes on to his next conquest: an artist who wants him for his youthful perfection and rejects him for the same reason: that he will never quite be as young or perfect again. Blithely, the artist moves on to have what he considers a casual fling with his best friend. But the friend is devastated by the unshared emotional intensity of the encounter. "Eclipse" is beautifully shot in sepia and blue and white with occasional splashes of colour.
The symbolism of the eclipse is a bit of a forced stretch and the joylessness of most of the sexual partners says what? That we re looking for sex in all the wrong places but all we really need is love? Don't look for the answers from writer-director Jeremy Podeswa. "Eclipse" derives its cumulative power from Podeswa's matter-of-fact, take-it-or-leave it approach and from his stylish visualisation of Toronto erotica. It opens regionally this week.
Copyright 1995 Monica Sullivan
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