Friday, September 9, 2011

Top Ranked Films of Luchino Visconti

Luchino Visconti
8 titles overall, tied for 11th with 5 others. 40th in overall points with 17,919

One of seven children, Visconti was born in Milan (the town of Rocco and His Brothers) into a noble and wealthy family. In his early years he was exposed to art, music and theatre, at one time meeting the opera composer Giacomo Puccini, and the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini . During World War II he joined the Italian Communist Party.

Visconti made no secret of his homosexuality. His last partner was the Austrian actor Helmut Berger, who played Martin in Visconti's film The Damned. Other lovers included director Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet, Tea with Mussolini), who also worked as part of the crew in a few of Visconti's films.

These are all the films of Visconti’s that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls.

1. Leopard, The (1963) #151
2. Rocco and His Brothers (1964) Italy, bw #222
3. Senso (1954) #487
4. Death in Venice (1971) #516
5. La Terra Trema (1948) #794
6. Ossessione (1943) #939
7. Intruder, The (L'innocent, 1976) #967
8. Damned, The (1969) #991

Most critics rave about The Leopard – it is opulent and beautiful, but for me moves too slowly, it has no sense of pace. I much prefer Rocco and His Brothers, in classic black-and-white, a faster moving near epic tale of brothers from southern Italy who move to Milan, and a couple become professional boxers. This film seems to have directly influence Scorsese’s Raging Bull (1980) bw. It's interesting that in this film, the brothers from the 'south' are referred to as "rednecks" by the northern Italians.

I also liked La Terra Trema, but was bored by The Damned and Death in Venice - again, they moved at a snail pace.

See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition

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