Il gattopardo (The Leopard) 1963 PG

6.00PM Fri 28 Jun 2019 (3hrs 6mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

The Leopard will screen from an archival 35mm film print.

Visconti’s Palme d’Or winning masterpiece remains one of the greatest achievements in Italian cinema. Adapting Giuseppe Tomasi di Lamepdusa’s novel of the same name, Visconti crafts a film both enormous in scale and immensely rich in texture.

The Leopard is set in Sicily amidst the turmoil of Italian unification in the 1860s. Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina (a commanding Burt Lancaster) is a member of the old guard aristocracy, who the rebel fighters seek to displace in the new Italy. As he comes to terms with the end of this epoch, he finds hope and melancholy comfort in the ascent of his calculating nephew (Alain Delon) and his beguiling fiancée (Claudia Cardinale).

Visconti, with his own aristocratic upbringing, understands the gilded world of these characters; the lavish palazzos which they inhabit and the extravagance of their ceremonies are exquisitely rendered. His sense of scale – from the size of the battle scenes to the Sicilian vistas, and the opulence of the climactic ballroom scene – is masterful, and wonderfully complemented by Oscar-winning composer Nino Rota’s classical score.

However, beyond these aesthetic elements, it is Visconti’s conveyance of the theme of individual and cultural mortality that make the film so compelling. The Prince’s acceptance of the end of his own era of power culminates in the director’s most iconic cinematic set piece, combines the filmmaker’s love of spectacle with his thoughtful understanding of character and small emotional revelations.

The Leopard with its romance and sadness and beauty is arguably Visconti’s magnum opus – the film that only he could have made. It has lost none of its power more than five decades after its Cannes premiere and continues to stun with its unparalleled sense of grandeur.

CREDITS

35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 186 MINUTES, ITALY, ITALIAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: LUCHINO VISCONTI / SCRIPT: PASQUALE FESTA CAMPANILE, ENRICO MEDIOLI, MASSIMO FRANCIOSA, LUCHINO VISCONTI, SUSO CECCHI D'AMICO / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY GIUSEPPE TOMASI DI LAMPEDUSA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GIUSEPPE ROTUNNO / EDITOR: MARIO SERANDREI / PROD CO: TITANUS, SOCIÉTÉ NOUVELLE PATHÉ CINÉMA, SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE DE CINÉMATOGRAPHIE / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM