“Sick Eros”: The Sexual Politics of Antonioni's Trilogy

in Projections
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  • 1 Florida State University franktomasulo@yahoo.com
  • 2 Shepherd University jmckahan@shepherd.edu
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Although the extant scholarly literature on the cinema of the late Michelangelo Antonioni has often valorized his use of images and mise-en-scène to explore themes and reflections on humanism and alienation, few have examined the means by which the director conveyed ideas on psychology and sexuality in modern life and Italian culture. This article considers Antonioni's "trilogy"—L'avventura (The Adventure, 1959), La notte (Night, 1960), and L'eclisse (Eclipse, 1962)—in light of the modernist project, especially with regard to the conjuncture of psychology and sexuality within the historical context of the 1960s and the sexio-psychological discourses of that period. Finally, Antonioni's worldview is investigated, particularly as it pertains to his stated concept of malattia dei sentimenti, or "Sick Eros."