Tag Archives: Luchino Visconti

Luchino Visconti – Appunti su un fatto di cronaca (1951)

A 12-year-old girl, Annarella Bracci, was raped and killed in the popular borough of Primavalle, Rome, one of the age-old cross-roads of Italy, at the time it was going through major construction and road development projects.
In 1951, the Italian Censorship Commission didn’t allow the release of the movie. It was shown in Paris in 1953 and later lost, but a copy is reported to belong to the Cinématèque Royale in Brussels.
Part of “Documento mensile,” a project for cine-journalism started by Riccardo Ghione and Marco Ferreri. Read More »

Luchino Visconti – Gruppo di famiglia in un interno AKA Conversation Piece (1974)

The year is 1972. Master Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti is struck down by a stroke, rendering him, one would think, unable to continue making films—and this just two years after hitting a late-career high point with Death in Venice. But like many artists kept alive by their muse, Visconti heroically persevered, managing to complete two more films before finally succumbing to a heart attack in 1976. Adaptability being a key ingredient to any sort of artistic longevity, Visconti took his ailments not as hindrance, but as a challenge toward the realization of a new project. Taken by a story written by past collaborator Enrico Medioli and intrigued by the cinematic restrictions afforded such an intimate character study, Visconti—now very limited in his physical movements and activity—saw both personal and logistical promise in this tale of aging, nostalgia, and generational divide, which was entitled Conversation Piece after an illustrated novel of family portraits of the same name by Mario Praz. Read More »

Giuseppe De Santis, Luchino Visconti, Marcello Pagliero, Mario Serandrei – Giorni di Gloria AKA Days of Glory (1945)

Giorni di Gloria has been called “the first documentary on the Resistance” (Antonio Vitti) and “the most revolutionary film in existence” (Paolo Gobetti). I prefer the film’s own dedication:

«A tutti coloro che in Italia hanno sofferto e combattuto l´oppressione nazifascista è dedicato questo film di lotta partigiana e di rinascita nazionale»

“For all those in Italy who have suffered and fought Nazi oppression, this film is dedicated to the partisan struggle and national rebirth.”

The film is raw, brutal, humane, outraged and unflagging in its celebration of resistance in the service of political justice. The photography – credited to a dozen cinematographers, including Gianni Di Venanzo’s first film credit – is starkly beautiful. Read More »

Luchino Visconti – Lo straniero aka The Stranger (1967)

A man faces a trial for murder. The court is biased because of his personal qualities. Read More »

Luchino Visconti – Le notti bianche AKA White Nights (1957)

Le notti bianche (White Nights) occupies a central position within Luchino Visconti’s body of work. In appearance at least, it consummates a break with the neorealism of the 1940s and early 1950s and looks forward to The Leopard (1963), in its rendering of subjectivity by visual style, and to Vaghe stelle dell’orsa (Sandra; 1965), in its dependence on metaphor as a structuring device. But appearances can be deceptive, for in 1960, Visconti returned to realism with Rocco and His Brothers, and in its way, Le notti bianche is also fundamentally a realist film, in spite of its excursions into fantasy. Read More »

Luchino Visconti – Vaghe stelle dell’Orsa… AKA Sandra of a Thousand Delights (1965)

Visconti’s retelling of the Electra story starts with Sandra/Electra (Cardinale) returning to her ancestral home in Italy – and reviving an intimate involvement with her brother (Sorel) which troubles her naive American husband (Craig) – on the eve of an official ceremony commemorating the death of her Jewish father in a Nazi concentration camp. As ever with Visconti, he is ambivalently drawn to the decadent society he is ostensibly criticising; and Armando Nannuzzi’s camera lovingly caresses the creaking old mansion, set in a landscape of crumbling ruins, where the incestuous siblings determine to wreak revenge on the mother (Bell) and stepfather (Ricci) who supposedly denounced their father. Something like a Verdi opera without the music, the result may not quite achieve tragedy, but it looks marvellous. The title, culled from a poem by Leopardi, has been better rendered as ‘Twinkling Stars of the Bear’. Read More »

Luchino Visconti – Ossessione AKA Obsession [+Extras] (1943)

Gino, a young and handsome tramp, stops in a small roadside inn run by Giovanna. She is unsatisfied with her older husband Bragana : she only married him for money. Gino and Giovanna fall in love. But Bragana is inhibiting for their passion, and Giovanna refuses to run away with Gino. Read More »