ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS
ROCCO E I SUOI FRATELLI
1960, Milestone, 177 min, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Combining Italian neorealism and conventional melodrama, Luchino Visconti's stirring and expansive family epic is set in 1950s Milan, telling a tale of changing times, family ties, conflicting moral codes, human weaknesses, jealousy, rape and murder with realistic trappings and operatic style. After the death of the family patriarch, widowed Rosaria Parondi (Katina Paxinou) moves from a farm to the city with her five sons (including Alain Delon as Rocco).


THE WITCHES (1967)
LE STREGHE
1967, Park Circus/MGM, 112 min, Dir: Mauro Bolognini, Vittorio De Sica, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, Luchino Visconti

Some of the greatest figures of postwar Italian cinema directed this anthology film, which is composed of five separate segments ranging from comedy to drama. The international cast includes Clint Eastwood, Annie Girardot, Alberto Sordi and Silvana Mangano.


WHITE NIGHTS
LE NOTTI BIANCHE
1957, Janus Films, 102 min, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Based on a Dostoevsky short story, Visconti’s tale of unrequited love stars Marcello Mastroianni as Mario, new to the city and quickly smitten with Natalia (Maria Schell), whom he meets on a bridge. Natalia has returned to that bridge every night for a year, waiting for a man (Jean Marais) who had promised to come back to her. Giuseppe Rotunno’s wonderful B&W cinematography gives the town of Livorno a dreamlike quality, an effect accentuated by Nino Rota’s score.


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