THE DAMNED (1969)
LA CADUTA DEGLI DEI
1969, 156 min, Italy/West Germany, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Director Luchino Visconti's astounding, sumptuous chronicle of the fall of the German Von Essenbeck dynasty during the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party. Scheming Sophie (Ingrid Thulin), scion of the dying aristocratic family, goads her husband Frederick (Dirk Bogarde) to commit all manner of heinous acts to usurp control of the clan's munitions factories. As the brutally repressive forces of Nazism bloom into full flower, a series of personal betrayals plague their immediate relatives as well as all of their acquaintances, culminating in the first of Hitler's purges, the Night of the Long Knives. Sophie and Frederick's corrupt empire grows by nefarious means, but they don't count on Sophie's mentally deranged, pedophile son Martin (Helmut Berger) who surpasses them all in not only decadence and depravity but also in his bottomless capacity for vindictive evil. Maurice Jarre supplies one of his most memorable, operatic scores. With Charlotte Rampling, Florinda Bolkan, Helmut Griem and Umberto Orsini.


BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
2018, 20th Century Fox, 132 min, UK/USA, Dir: Bryan Singer

This enthralling celebration of Queen and their music follows the band’s extraordinary lead singer, Freddie Mercury (Golden Globe Best Actor Rami Malek), who defied stereotypes and convention to become one of history’s most beloved entertainers. Following Queen’s meteoric rise, their revolutionary sound and Freddie’s solo career, the film also chronicles the band’s reunion, and one of the greatest performances in rock history.


CONVERSATION PIECE
GRUPPO DI FAMIGLIA IN UN INTERNO
1974, Minerva Pictures, 121 min, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Retired American professor Burt Lancaster lives a quiet, comfortable life in Rome surrounded by his books, paintings and other conversation pieces – until he is forced to rent a floor in his palazzo to a coarse marchesa (Silvana Mangano) and her companions. Visconti’s look at a bastion of tradition confronted by upper-class decadence earned a David di Donatello award for Best Film and boasts a strong cast including Helmut Berger and Claudia Cardinale.


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