SANDRA
VAGHE STELLA DELL’ORSA…
1965, Sony Repertory, 105 min, Italy/France, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Inspired by the Greek myth of Electra, this multilayered drama stars Claudia Cardinale as Sandra Dawdson, who returns with her husband (Michael Craig) to her ancestral home in Volterra, Italy, ostensibly for a tribute to her father, who had been killed by the Nazis. When Sandra’s brother (Jean Sorel) arrives, there is a strange attraction between the siblings – is it related to their father’s murder, or something more? The Golden Lion winner at the 1965 Venice Film Festival.


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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