Discovering the Passionate Films of Luchino Visconti

“Not many directors have had such a total belief in style. Luchino Visconti worked through total artifice as a way to the truth.” —Martin Scorsese

Luchino Visconti, a member of Italian nobility, belonged to the Italian Communist Party during World War II. He was openly gay, staunchly Catholic, and inhabited a complicated, paradoxical, role in Italian cinema culture. A leader in the Neorealism movement, he also worked with international stars like Helmut Berger, Dirk Bogarde, Alain Delon, and Burt Lancaster. Visconti (1906–1976) produced an oeuvre of modest and humane dramas as well as decadent, sprawling historical spectacles. Deftly aware of the subtle and rich means of cinematic expression, he uniquely imposed the narrative customs of opera and the novel onto film, yet remained sharply attuned to the social and political climates of the 20th century.

This touring film series originated at the Harvard Film Archive in May, continuing to sites including the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City; the Toronto International Film Festival; BAMPFA in Berkeley, California; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago; the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio; and the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles.

Organized in collaboration with Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero of Istituto Luce Cinecittà. Coproduced by Istituto Luce Cinecittà, Rome. Presented in association with the Ministry of Culture in Italy.

Generous funding has been received from the Vaughn Foundation

Additional funding and support has been provided by the Italian Consulate.