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Luchino Visconti (1906 - 1976)

Lifespan: 1906 - 1976

Related: Italian cinema - Neorealism

Films: The Damned (1969) - Death in Venice (1971)


Luchino Visconti, Duke of Modrone (November 2, 1906 - March 17, 1976) was an Italian theatre and cinema director and writer.

Born into a noble and wealthy family, the Visconti (one of the richest of northern Italy), in Milan, at the age of 30 he went to Paris and began his filmmaking career as third assistant director in Jean Renoir's Une partie de campagne (1936), thanks to the intercession of a common friend, Coco Chanel. After a short tour to the U.S., where he visited Hollywood, he returned to Italy to be Renoir's assistant again, this time for La Tosca (1939), a production that was interrupted and later completed by German director Karl Koch because of the war.

Together with Roberto Rossellini, Visconti joined the salotto of Vittorio Mussolini (the son of Benito, at the time the national arbitrator for cinema and other arts) and here presumably met also Federico Fellini. With Gianni Puccini, Antonio Pietrangeli and Giuseppe De Santis he wrote the screenplay of his first film as a director: Ossessione (Obsession) (1943), the first neorealist movie.

Visconti was also a celebrated theatre director. During the years 1946-1960 he directed many performances of the Rina Morelli-Paolo Stoppa Company, with Vittorio Gassmann, and several operas, including a famous revival of Donizetti's Anna Bolena at La Scala in 1957 with Maria Callas.

In 1948, he wrote and directed La terra trema (The Earth Trembles), from the novel I Malavoglia by Giovanni Verga.

He died in Rome at age 69. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luchino_Visconti [Apr 2005]

Ossessione (1943) - Luchino Visconti

Ossessione (1943) - Luchino Visconti [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The first film in the Italian neorealist tradition.

Ossessione (Luchino Visconti, 1943) is generally considered to be the first Neorealist film. It is also Luchino Visconti's first feature film, and the first of several adaptations of James M. Cain's novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossessione [Nov 2005]

The Postman Always Rings Twice is a 1934 crime novel by James M. Cain.

The novel was quite successful and notorious upon publication, and is regarded as one of the more important crime novels of the 20th century. Fast-moving and brief (only about 100 pages long, depending on the edition), the novel's mix of sexuality and violence was startling in its time, and saw the book banned in Boston. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Postman_Always_Rings_Twice [Aug 2006]

See also: 1943 - Italian film - Neorealism - adultery - Luchino Visconti

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