Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Luchino Visconti


Luchino Visconti (1906-1976), Count Don Luchino Visconti di Modrone, was an aristocrat.

His most famous film is probably Death in Venice (1970).

In Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann's novella, we see Gustav von Aschenbach failing to achieve a balance between the Dionysian and Apollonian side of life.

Apollo is the god of the Sun, lightness, music, and poetry; Dionysus is the god of wine, ecstasy, and intoxication.

Apollo can symbolize primal nature. Dionysus can symbolize civilisation.

Visconti's first feature film was Ossessione (1942), which is about the relationship between two men and a woman. The friendship of the two men is homoerotic.

In 1948, Visconti made La Terra Trema, which is about working conditions among the fishermen of Sicily.

In 1951, came Visconti's Bellissima, starring Anna Magnani.

In 1954, Visconti directed the operatic costume drama Senso (1954).

Other films by Viconti include: Le Notti bianche (1957), Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960), Il Gattopardo (1963); Vaghe Stelle dell'Orsa (1965); Albert Camus' Lo Straniero (1967), Götterdämmerung (1969), the biographical film, Ludwig (1972), Gruppo di Famiglia in un Interno (1974) and L'Innocente (1976)

In Gruppo di Famiglia, Visconti did not hide the homoerotic side found in most of his movies.

Viconti's lovers included Franco Zeffirelli.[1]

Letters that Visconti wrote to several young men, including the actor Helmut Berger, became public in the 1980s.


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