The Leopard (Visconti, 1963): Riverside Studios Cinema, 7pm
A bona fide masterpiece (right up there in my personal top ten), one which grows in stature with the passing years
and able to be seen now in a remastered print which simply adds to the beauty of a
magisterial work of cinema.
Here is critic Dave Kehr on the film's history, it was butchered on release and only seen in a truncated form for many years, and here
is Martin Scorsese talking about his involvement in the restoration.
The Leopard is one of the American director's favourite films as
evidenced in this list.
Chicago Reader review:
'Cut, dubbed, and printed in an inferior color process, the U.S.
release of Luchino Visconti's epic didn't leave much of an impression
in 1963; 20 years later, a restoration of the much longer Italian
version revealed this as not only Visconti's greatest film but a work
that transcends its creator, achieving a sensitivity and intelligence
without parallel in his other films. Burt Lancaster initiated his
formidable mature period as the aging aristocrat Don Fabrizio, who
works to find a place for himself and his family values in the new
Italy being organized in the 1860s. The film's superb first two hours,
which weave social and historical themes into rich personal drama, turn
out to be only a prelude to the magnificent final hour—an extended
ballroom sequence that leaves history behind to become one of the most
moving meditations on individual mortality in the history of the
cinema. With Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale. In Italian with