Egyptian and
Aero Theatres
Hollywood & Santa Monica
Thu, Feb 7, 2019 - Sun, Mar 31, 2019
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LUCHINO VISCONTI: CINEMATIC NOBILITY
Co-presented by Luce Cinecittà

Luchino Visconti was born into the Italian aristocracy; his father was the Duke of Grazzano Visconti and the Count of Lonate Pozzolo and his mother was the heiress to a pharmaceutical fortune. His noble background may have exposed him to high art from an early age, but Visconti’s directorial debut was a crime drama set among Italy’s lower classes. OSSESSIONE is often cited as the earliest example of neorealism, though the 1943 film was suppressed by the Mussolini regime (and wasn’t seen much more in America, where rights to source novel The Postman Always Rings Twice were held by MGM).

Visconti was a member of the Italian Communist Party during WWII, and such later work as the Dostoevsky adaptation WHITE NIGHTS and the classic ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS feature proletarian protagonists. But the filmmaker’s gilded roots begin to show with period drama SENSO. Set during Italy’s 1866 war for independence, the film charts an Italian countess’ (Alida Valli) hopeless love for an Austrian officer (Farley Granger), and the opening sequence at a Venice opera performance establishes a lavish standard for production design and color cinematography (Visconti launched a parallel career as an opera director around the time of SENSO).

Visconti would frequently revisit the theme of an aristocracy in decline. His Palme d'Or winner THE LEOPARD stars Burt Lancaster as the Prince of Salina, whose privileged lifestyle is threatened by political upheaval. In THE DAMNED, a wealthy industrialist’s family is decimated by collaboration with the Nazi Party. DEATH IN VENICE features DAMNED star Dirk Bogarde as a Mahler-like composer who becomes infatuated with a boy while the titular city is ravaged by an epidemic. The director’s “German Trilogy” concludes with LUDWIG, a portrait of King Ludwig II of Bavaria painted in decadent detail. Cinema is both popular entertainment and art, and in his ability to couch progressive ideals in luxurious settings, Luchino Visconti emerges as one of its masters.

Series compiled by William Morris, Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero. Program notes by John Hagelston.

Both TheatresThu, Feb 7, 2019 - Sun, Mar 31, 2019
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Films in this Series at the Egyptian

Joanna Lancaster In Person!
Thu, Feb 7, 2019 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre
Sun, Feb 10, 2019 - 6:00pm
Egyptian Theatre
Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre
Wed, Feb 27, 2019 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre
Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre
Sat, Mar 2, 2019 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre
Joanna Lancaster In Person!
Sun, Mar 3, 2019 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre

Films in this Series at the Aero

Thu, Mar 28, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Fri, Mar 29, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sat, Mar 30, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sun, Mar 31, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre