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Realist Film Movements Neorealismo (3) Films of Luchino Visconti.

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Presentation on theme: "Realist Film Movements Neorealismo (3) Films of Luchino Visconti."— Presentation transcript:

1 Realist Film Movements Neorealismo (3) Films of Luchino Visconti

2 Common Neorealist Elements 1 -- In CONTENT a. An emphasis on contemporary subjects and the life of the working class b. Calling (indirect) for political reform and unity c. Moral commitment to make characters’ problems gain universal recognition d. Beauty of ordinary life, drama hidden in everyday life

3 Common Neorealist Elements 2 -- In FORM a. Location shooting b. Use of non-professional actors c. Rough, off-hand composition d. Shooting with available natural light e. Restraint in using expressive shots (close- up, wide-angle, telephoto, zoom shot, etc.)

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8 Common Neorealist Elements f. Long take g. Restraint in expressive montage

9 Common Neorealist Elements However, both such contents and forms are neither intrinsic to neorealismo nor realism in general. Such elements can also be found in other types of films, even in formalist films. Certain ways of combining those elements make a film (neo)realistic

10 Who is Luchino Visconti? Born on 2 Nov and died on 17 March Aristocrat, film and theatre director: the maker of the films of harsh realism as well as sublime melodrama

11 Who is Luchino Visconti? Met Jean Renoir in Paris in the 1930s through the introduction of Coco Chanel and worked for him. Returning to Italy during the war, he became a resistance fighter and Marxist. The leading light of Neorealismo.

12 Luchino Visconti’s Works Early (neo)realist works Ossessione (1943) Giorni di gloria (1945) La Terra Trema (The Earth Trembles, 1948)

13 Who is Luchino’s Works Ossessione (1943) - based on James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, it is about a doomed love affair between a drifter and the wife of a roadside restaurant owner. First neorealist film (?)

14 Luchino Visconti’s Works Giorni di gloria (1945) - a documentary film about the Nazi-Fascist oppression of Italians during the war. It includes footage of executions, atrocities and humiliation.

15 Luchino Visconti’s Works La Terra trema (1948) - based on Giovanni Verga’s Il Malavoglia, it is about a fisherman family’s revolt against the exploitation and its failure.

16 La Terra trema Shot on location in Aci Trezza, Sicily. All the people who appear in the films are fishermen, residents or their families of Aci Trezza.

17 Aci Trezza, Eastern Sicily then and now

18 La Terra trema No artificial light (only one scene) The dialect of Eastern Sicily The pressing contemporary issue - the exploitation of the poor in the South

19 La Terra trema PARADOX AND CONTRADICTION ‘Realistic’ representation of the life in a Sicilian fishing village / A Marxist re- interpretation of the novel of Giovanni Verga, I Malavoglia (Financially backed by the Italian Communist Party.)

20 La Terra trema The gritty realism of Visconti’s mise-en-scène / High aesthetic sensibility (mise-en-scène: slow and fluid pan shot; perfectly balanced composition; picturesque depth of deep focus photography

21 La Terra trema Visconti’s composition of frames is like painting and his camerawork is as elaborate as that of any studio product.

22 La Terra trema Painterly composition - triangle composition

23 La Terra trema Casper Friedrich, The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog 1818 Mary Cassat, The Family 1892

24 La Terra trema Perfect triangle compositions in La Terra trema

25 La Terra trema Another painterly composition

26 Neorealist Ideals and Reality Narrative compromise – drama and suspense, gap between actual time and story time, ideological intention behind storytelling Formal compromise – filming in studio sets with careful lighting, non-synchronous recording (post-dabbing), ‘amalgam’ of professional and non-professional actors, self-conscious mise-en-scène and montage

27 Luchino Viscont’s Works Career after neorealismo Theatre and opera producer – life-long career World and lives of aristocrats and upper-class artists

28 Luchino Viscont’s Works Senso (1954) A Venetian countess falls in love with a vile Austrian lieutenant at the end of Austrian occupation of Venice. Decadent doomed love affair.

29 Luchino Viscont’s Works White Nights (1956) - based on Feodor Dostoevskij’s novel, it is about a fleeting love affair between a lonely man and a lonely woman. Entirely shot in sets and more stagy than cinematic.

30 Post-Neorealismo After neorealismo came to an end, Rossellini shifted to films with Catholic themes and De Sica to comedies Neorealismo was short lived

31 Luchino Visconti’s Works Rocco and His Brothers (1960) – neorealist theme (a poor family’s attempt to transcend harsh and miserable material and economic conditions ) One-off return to ‘neorealismo’ Despite its socio-political concerns, it is melodramatic, operatic, decorative and psychological

32 Luchino Viscont’s Works Leopard (1965) - based on Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s autobiographical story, it is about the decline and fall of a Sicilian aristocratic family. Stylistic, aesthetic and operatic.

33 Luchino Viscont’s Works Later Career: Autobiographical elements - decadence and aestheticism; homosexuality and lives of aristocrats Long-take, painterly composition, deep space, realistic narrative – elements found in his neorealist films – their excessive use make formalist films

34 Luchino Visconti’s Works Death in Venice (1971) - based on Thomas Man’s short story, it is about a dying man’s infatuation with a beautiful boy. Operatic contemplation of love and death.

35 Visconti’s composition influenced by J.M.W. Turner’s paintings

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37 Luchino Visconti’s Works Ludwig (1973) – about ‘mad’ king of Bavaria, who is determined to create an artistic kingdom in his country inviting Richard Wagner. Visconti’s love for opera and anything beautiful.

38 Luchino Visconti’s Works Innocente (1976) - based on Gabriel D’Annunzio’s novel, it is about the breakup of a marriage, and jealousy and homosexual relationship.


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