• © 1943 I.C.I. Industrie Cinematografiche Italiane s.a.; © 2004 MARZI Srl. All rights reserved. Photo courtesy VIGGO Srl.
  • © 1943 I.C.I. Industrie Cinematografiche Italiane s.a.; © 2004 MARZI Srl. All rights reserved. Photo courtesy VIGGO Srl.
  • © 1943 I.C.I. Industrie Cinematografiche Italiane s.a.; © 2004 MARZI Srl. All rights reserved. Photo courtesy VIGGO Srl.

schedule

SUBJECTS

Adultery -- Drama, Cain, James M. (James Mallahan), 1892-1977. Postman always rings twice -- Film and video adaptations, Murder -- Drama, Triangles (Interpersonal relations) -- Drama

Ossessione

(Obsession)

Digital Restoration
BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

featuring

Clara Calamai, Massimo Girotti, Juan de Landa, Elia Marcuzzo,

Transposing James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice to a squalid trattoria in the Po Valley, Luchino Visconti plays it for a deft mixture of dour authenticity, studied narrative suspense, and ambiguous passions. Ossessione is a work of extraordinary beauty. Character and landscape merge, as in the opening shots, looking out the front of a bus going down a dusty road seemingly to nowhere. We are introduced to Gino (Massimo Girotti), the drifter, by way of his hefty back, and we watch him from an increasingly high-angle shot, still from the back, enter the trattoria in whose kitchen he meets Giovanna (Clara Calamai). We first see his face when she does, a moment of startled passion. Calamai plays Giovanna as a portrait of female despair and desire‚ not the Cain variety of smoldering sexuality but a smoldering soul. She tells her story from a small chair in a corner of the room. It is the first of the lonely compositions that will entrap the lovers.

Judy Bloch
FILM DETAILS 
Screenwriter
  • Luchino Visconti
  • Mario Alicata
  • Antonio Pietrangeli
  • Gianni Puccini
  • Giuseppe De Santis
Based On
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

Cinematographer
  • Aldo Tonti
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 140 mins
Source
  • Luce Cinecittà
  • CSC-Cineteca Nazionale
Permission
  • VIGGO Srl
CINEFILES

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View Ossessione documents  

Luchino Visconti: maestro of the movies (program note), Brooklyn Museum, 1992

[Ossessione] (review), Village Voice, Tom Allen, 1987

Luchino Visconti: a retrospective (program note), Walker Art Center, 1979

Before neo-realism: Italian cinema 1929-1944 (program note), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1978

Ossessione (review), Soho Weekly News, 1977

Ossessione (program note), Los Angeles International Film Exposition, Lee Sanders, 1977

Ossessione (press release), Surf Theatres, 1977

Ossessione (program note), New York Film Festival, 1976

Ossessione (press kit), Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

Luchino Visconti: the films (1936-76) (program note), National Film Theatre (London, England), Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

Displaying 10 of 10 publicly available documents.


View all Ossessione documentation on CineFiles.