White Nights & Rocco and His Brothers

An adaptation of the same Dostoevsky story filmed by Ivan Pyriev in Russia in 1959, and by Robert Bresson in France in 1971 (as Four Nights Of A Dreamer), White Nights is dreamlike and elegiac, using deliberately artificial settings and soft, grainy photography to gain its effects. Marcello Mastroianni plays Mario, a shy young man who meets a mysterious young girl named Natalia (played by Maria Schell), sobbing on a canal bridge. She tells him she is in love with a sailor who left on a long journey and promised to return in one year. Thus begins one of Visconti's most neglected works. According to Georges Sadoul:

“...its baroque style now seems a direct step towards the development of Rocco and His Brothers and, curiously, more Stendhalian than Dostoevskian in its attempt to capture the ‘emotional crystallization of experience.'”

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