Restored Rocco

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June-July, the Filmmuseum over here shows the restored print of Luchino Visconti’s great melodrama Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and his Brothers), starring Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori and Annie Girardot. In spite of its three hours length, a captivating tragedy on a Southern family of five brothers who try to adapt but still keep up their honor and family values in modern, industrial Milan around 1960. The black and white cinematography of Giuseppe Rotunno is outstanding, as well as the actors’ performances (though some may dislike the melodramatic acting in some scenes) and the haunting music by Nino Rota. The images are full of telling details which you may loose at first glance; art on television is positioned as the utmost decadent object of the wealthy and debauched, while – as Dirk Lauwaert indicated – costume always is extremely meaningful, in spite of its everydayness. Some scenes are still gruesome today, such as the rape scene. Visconti’s grim realism even led to a court case, but the film was saved on the basis that it was an art work.

~ by Ivo Blom on May 30, 2009.

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