Luchino Visconti: Cinema of Struggle and Splendor

September 14–November 30, 2018

A retrospective of a key artist of the Italian cinema, who combined the profound humanism of neorealism with the drama, beauty, and epic sweep of opera to create films rich in resonance and throbbing with life.

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  • The Leopard

  • Ossessione

  • Senso

  • Rocco and His Brothers

  • La terra trema

  • Ludwig

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • La terra trema

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, 1948

    Digital Restoration

    • Friday, September 21 7 PM

    Following the struggles of impoverished Sicilian fisherfolk, Visconti “makes compositions of the most down-to-earth reality as if they were scenes from an opera or a classical tragedy” (André Bazin).

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  • White Nights

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, France, 1957

    Imported 35mm Print

    • Sunday, September 23 7 PM

    Marcello Mastroianni stars in a romantic, sublimely artificial adaptation of the Dostoyevsky story about people drifting along crossing, doubling paths.

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  • Rocco and His Brothers

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, France, 1960

    Digital Restoration

    • Thursday, October 4 7 PM
    • Sunday, October 7 6:30 PM

    The lives of a southern Italian family who move to Milan mirror the transformation of postwar Italian society. Starring Alain Delon, the film has “the emotional sweep of a Verdi opera and the narrative density of a nineteenth-century novel” (New York Times).

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  • The Leopard

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, France, 1963

    Digital Restoration

    • Saturday, October 13 7 PM
    • Sunday, October 21 7 PM

    Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale, and Burt Lancaster (in one of his greatest performances) star in this tale of an aging Sicilian aristocrat who watches as his life—and lifestyle—fades into the past. “Even the most intimate scenes seethe with a sense of change” (Village Voice). “A mellow and melancholy feast” (New York Times).

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  • Death in Venice

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, France, United States, 1971
    • Saturday, October 20 7:45 PM

    A ravishing elegy to the mortality of all things: buildings, cities, art, and desire. Dirk Bogarde plays the hero of Thomas Mann’s novella, a man enthralled by a young boy’s beauty in a Venice consumed by disease.

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  • Sandra

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, 1965

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, October 28 7 PM

    This somber mood piece is an Elektra story of madness and incestuous passions in a family haunted by secrets and the shadow of the Holocaust.

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  • Senso

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, 1954

    Digital Restoration

    • Thursday, November 1 7 PM
    • Saturday, November 10 8 PM

    An unhappily married Italian countess embarks on a doomed love affair with an Austrian officer in Visconti’s operatic, meticulously detailed tale of nationalism and destructive passion. “Visconti here moves his camera as if it were a conductor’s baton” (Artforum).

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  • The Stranger

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, Algeria, France, 1967

    Imported 35mm Print

    • Saturday, November 3 7:30 PM

    A rare opportunity to see this adaptation of the great existentialist novel, with Marcello Mastroianni as Camus’s archetype of alienation. Visconti vividly re-creates 1930s colonial Algiers.

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  • Ludwig

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, France, West Germany, 1973

    Imported 35mm Print

    • Sunday, November 18 2 PM

    Visconti gives the tragic life of the mad king of Bavaria an epic treatment, dazzling in its historical detail. “Ludwig is a passion play: a mass” (Film Comment). “An opulent, trance-like biopic” (Artforum).

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  • Conversation Piece

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, France, 1974

    Imported 35mm Print

    • Sunday, November 25 7 PM

    When aging professor Burt Lancaster rents the upper flat of his palazzo to a Roman matron and her gigolo, his life’s denouement is invaded by la dolce vita.

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  • The Innocent

    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, France, 1976

    Imported 35mm Print

    • Friday, November 30 7 PM

    Giancarlo Giannini in Visconti’s final work, a sumptuous, sensuous adaptation of the d’Annunzio novel. “One of Visconti’s most beautiful films [and] one of his most terse, most dramatically economical” (New York Times).

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Past Films

  • Ossessione

    • Sunday, September 16 7 PM
    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, 1943

    Digital Restoration
    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    With a deft mixture of authenticity, narrative suspense, and ambiguous passions, Visconti transposes James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice to a Po Valley trattoria.

  • Bellissima

    • Friday, September 14 7 PM
    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, 1952

    Imported 35mm Print

    Visconti is in an unusually comic mode for this satire on urban life and movieland ambition. The incomparable Anna Magnani plays a mother trying to launch her young daughter in show business.