Archive for July 3rd, 2009


by Allan Fish

(Italy 1976 125m) DVD1/2

Aka. The Innocent

A lesson in infidelity

p  Giovanni Bertolucci  d  Luchino Visconti  w  Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Luchino Visconti, Enrico Medioli  novel  Gabriele d’Annunzio  ph  Pasqualino de Santis  ed  Ruggero Mastroianni  md  Franco Mannino  m  Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, W.A.Mozart, C.W.Von Gluck  art  Mario Garbuglia  cos  Piero Tosi 

Giancarlo Giannini (Tullio Hermil), Jennifer O’Neill (Teresa Raffo), Laura Antonelli (Giuliana Hermil), Rina Morelli (Tullio’s mother), Didier Haudepin (Frederico Hermil), Massimo Girotti (Count Stefano Egano), Marie Dubois (Princess),

If ever a film demanded to be called luxurious, this is it.  Visconti’s final masterpiece has the intricate visual beauty and hidden emotions of many of his greatest works, and is a definitive example of his mournful studies of a decaying, soon to be wiped out Italian aristocracy.  Not only does it recall The Leopard, it also looks forward to Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence in its visual décor, narrative style and stately rhythms.  Yet even Scorsese would have to admit that Visconti is the true master.  No other director quite got over the atmosphere of understated feelings, hypocritical gentility and sheer opulent voluptuousness as Visconti.  It’s all summed up in the polite applause to the musical soiree which they attend for social purposes, despite generally despising the music.   

            Set in the Rome of the 1890’s, the tale follows Tullio Hermil, an Italian aristocrat and serial philanderer who ignores his beautiful wife, Guiliana, in favour of the beautiful widow, Teresa.  He admits his affair to his wife and even asks his wife to stand by him.  However, when he ends up spending a few days at his mother’s estate, he finds himself falling in love with his wife again, only for his illusion to be shattered when his mother tells him that she is convinced Guiliana is pregnant.  (more…)

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