November 3 – December 16
Long acknowledged as one of the leading figures of mid-century Italian cinema, Luchino Visconti (1906 – 1976) was a gifted visual artist as well as a paradoxical character — a committed Marxist who descended from a noble northern Italian family, rulers of the duchy of Milan and patrons of the early Renaissance in that strategic city. Elegant and literary, Visconti was not only a filmmaker but an accomplished musician, painter, designer, and racehorse breeder, although it was his interest in opera and theater that ultimately led him to filmmaking. He started in film by working with Jean Renoir who, Visconti admitted, “was a human influence not a professional one.” More frequently than his contemporaries, Visconti made use of motifs from European art history to enrich his mise-en-scènes, sets, and costumes, creating a sophisticated visual vocabulary. This series includes 35mm prints as well as new digital restorations; it is organized in association with Cinecittà Luce. With special thanks to the Italian Cultural Institute, Washington, DC.