Luchino Visconti – Il gattopardo AKA The Leopard (1963)

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Luchino Visconti’s “Il Gattopardo” is an epic on the grandest possible scale. The film recreates, with nostalgia, drama, and opulence, the tumultuous years of Italy’s Risorgimento, when the aristocracy lost its grip and the middle classes rose and formed a unified, democratic Italy. Burt Lancaster stars as the aging prince watching his culture and fortune wane in the face of a new generation, represented by his upstart nephew (Alain Delon) and his beautiful fiancée (Claudia Cardinale). Awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, “Il Gattopardo” translates Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel, and the history it recounts, into a truly cinematic masterpiece. Continue reading

Luchino Visconti – Le notti bianche AKA White Nights [+extras] (1957)

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Synopsis:

A chance encounter on a canal bridge results in a series of twilight rendezvous between a lonely city transplant (Marcello Mastroianni) and a sheltered woman (Maria Schell) haunted by a lover’s promise. Their hesitant courtship soon entangles both of them in a web of longing and self-delusion. Adapted from the Fyodor Dostoyevsky short story, director Luchino Visconti’s Le notti bianche—shot in ravishing black and white—is a romantic, shattering tale of the restlessness of dreamers. Continue reading

Luchino Visconti – Bellissima (1951)

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Maddalena (Anna Magnani) is a screenstruck mother convinced of her daughter Maria’s (Tina Apicella) star potential. Dreaming of a better life for her family – as a means of escape from the struggles of everyday existence in working-class Rome – she invests everything, including her last penny, into the dream that her daughter will be discovered at an open casting. Continue reading

Luchino Visconti – Rocco e i suoi fratelli aka Rocco and His Brothers (1960)

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The widow Rosaria moves to Milano from Lucania with her 4 sons, one of whom is Rocco. The fifth son, Vincenzo, already lives in Milano. In the beginning, the family has a lot of problems, but everyone manages to find something to do. Simone is boxing, Rocco works in a dry cleaners, and Ciro studies. Simone meets Nadia, a prostitute, and they have a stormy affair. Then Rocco, after finishing his military service, begins a relationship with her. A bitter feud ensues between the two brothers, which will lead as far as murder… Written by Kornel Osvart
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Luchino Visconti – Morte a Venezia AKA Death in Venice (1971)

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from imdb:
In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period of artistic and personal stress. But he finds no peace there, for he soon develops a troubling attraction to an adolescent boy, Tadzio, on vacation with his family. The boy embodies an ideal of beauty that Aschenbach has long sought and he becomes infatuated. However, the onset of a deadly pestilence threatens them both physically and represents the corruption that compromises and threatens all ideals. Written by Eric Wees
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Mauro Bolognini, Vittorio De Sica, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, Luchino Visconti – Le streghe (1967)

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Plot:

A film of five separate comedy to drama segments–directed by Visconti, Bolognini, Pasolini, Franco Rossi and de Sica. The international cast includes Clint Eastwood, Annie Girardot and Alberto Sordi, and features Silvana Mangano. Important Note: This film has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available and has not been remastered or restored specifically for this DVD release. 16 x 9. Important Note: This film has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available and has not been remastered or restored specifically for this DVD release. From Warner Brothers Website! Continue reading