Adventures in Cultural Consumption:

L'Ecclise: That final scene: luminous, and possibly the perfect example of how to address themes in a direct, even obvious, way without thereby simplifying them: nature version human intrusion, the old and the new, the pointlessness of everyday life given the existential threat hanging over Europe, the futility of resisting change, all brought up, considered, and set aside: neither didactic nor treacly because the lack of dialogue leaves these ideas and their consideration to the mind of the viewer. This is one of the most literary moments I can think of in film because, like a novel, it refuses film's usual practice of handing the meaning to you wrapped up in dictatorial visual images. It is, in this respect, the mirror image of my other favorite ending scene in film, from Z:

Z goes in the opposite direction: an intentionally-structured series of narrations whose style is a series of repetitions, the better to highlight and underlie the irony of the ending, culminating in the list of banned ideas and cultural items which, at the end, proves its own futility, even if it represents the then-present power structure. Where L'Ecclise has formlessness, Z gets its literary power from its precision and economy.

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