Visconti, Luchino

(1906–1976)
   The scion of one of Italy’s oldest and most aristocratic families, Visconti entered the cinema relatively late and was nearly 30 when a chance social contact enabled him to work with the great French director Jean Renoir. Visconti’s first film, Ossessione (Obsession, 1942), was based on the American novel The Postman Always Rings Twice and aroused an uproar in Italy because of its frank sexuality. Visconti had to make a personal appeal to Benito Mussolini to get the film past the censors. Fortunately the dictator allowed this first masterpiece of neorealism to appear with only limited cuts. Visconti was later arrested by the authorities and charged with aiding the resistance. For some time he was at grave risk of execution. In 1947 Visconti made his second great film, La terra trema (The Earth Trembles), which was based on Giovanni Verga’s novel I malavoglia. Set in the Sicilian fishing village of Aci Trezza, the film manages both to show the hardship and agony of the villagers’lives and to include scenes of ravishing poetic beauty. Visconti used no professional actors in the film, and the film had to be subtitled in Italian for non-Sicilian viewers. Visconti produced two masterpieces in the 1950s. Senso (Feeling, 1954) was his first foray into the use of color, but its visual opulence and subject matter (the film is a love story set during the Risorgimento) were regarded with suspicion by the neorealists. Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and his Brothers, 1960), by contrast, marked a return to the naturalism of his earlier films and was a major critical and box office success. From 1960 onward, however, Visconti turned more toward the big-budget, visually enchanting style of Senso. Turning his back on neorealism and Italy’s Marxist critical establishment, Visconti chose to adapt Di Lampedusa’s novel Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, 1963), even though the book had been derided as reactionary when it first appeared in the late 1950s. The film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Visconti’s last major film was Morte a Venezia (Death in Venice, 1971). The depiction of the decadent beauty of Venice is the most successful aspect of the film; the psychological trauma undergone by Aschenbach, the protagonist, is portrayed somewhat ponderously. In addition to his film career, Visconti was Italy’s preeminent opera and theater director. He died in Rome in 1976.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Visconti,Luchino — Visconti, Luchino. Duke of Modrone. 1906 1976. Italian stage and film director considered a founder of the Italian neo realist style, which focused on ordinary people and postwar social issues. His films include La Terra Trema (1948) and Death in …   Universalium

  • Visconti, Luchino — • ВИСКО НТИ (Visconti) Лукино (наст. фам. Висконти ди Модроне, Visconti di Modrone) (2.11.1906 17.3.1976)    итал.режиссёр. Кинематографич. деятельность начал в 1936 во Франции как ассист. Ж. Ренуара в ф. Загородная прогулка .    В 1940… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Visconti, Luchino — orig. Don Luchino Visconti, count di Modrone born Nov. 2, 1906, Milan died March 17, 1976, Rome Italian film and theatre director. Born into the nobility, he became an assistant to Jean Renoir in 1935. He directed his first film, Ossessione… …   Universalium

  • Visconti, Luchino — (1906 1976)    Screenwriter and director of opera, theater, and film. Acknowledged as one of the foremost directors of the Italian cinema, Visconti was born into a rich and noble family that traced its ancestry to the rulers of Milan during the… …   Guide to cinema

  • Visconti, Luchino — (1906 1976)    Screenwriter and director of opera, theater, and film. Acknowledged as one of the foremost directors of the Italian cinema, Visconti was born into a rich and noble family that traced its ancestry to the rulers of Milan during the… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Visconti, Luchino — ► (1906 76) Director cinematográfico italiano. Fue premiado en el Festival de Venecia de 1948 por La tierra tiembla, en 1957 por Noches blancas, en 1960 por Rocco y sus hermanos y en el de Cannes de 1973 por El Gatopardo. Ha dirigido también:… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Visconti, Luchino — pseud. di Visconti di Modrone, Luchino …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Visconti — Visconti, Luchino ► Nombre de una célebre familia gibelina de Milán, que gobernó en esta ciudad desde el s. XIII al XV, fundada por el arzobispo Otón (1207 95), primer señor de Milán (1277 95); entre sus sucesores destacan Matteo (1250 1322),… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Visconti — (Louis Tullius Joachim) (1791 1853) architecte français: fontaines Molière (Paris), mausolée de Napoléon Ier aux Invalides. Visconti (Luchino) (1906 1976) cinéaste italien. Pionnier du néo réalisme (Ossessione, 1942), il réalisa des films de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Luchino Visconti — For the Milanese ruler, see Luchino Visconti (died 1349). Luchino Visconti Born Luchino Visconti di Modrone November 2, 1906(1906 11 02) Milan, Lo …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.