Directed by Luchino Visconti
Upon sitting down to write a review of Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard, I thought about the monumental task in front of me: ‘How do I do justice to one of the greatest films ever made?’ It’s easy: I can’t. I mean, I’ll do my best, but no amount of complimentary adjectives or animated textual analysis can re-create the affecting experience of watching Visconti’s epic masterpiece.
Adapted from Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s posthumously published Il Gattopardo, The Leopard takes place in a specific historical moment—Italy’s Risorgimento period—but it could really be set anywhere at any time. It’s about the painful inevitability of adapting to change and the erosion of one norm for another. Don Fabrizio Corbera (Burt Lancaster) is the Prince of Salina, and with middle-age upon him and revolution around him, he understands
As one of the founders of Italian neorealism, Visconti is well known for his depictions of upper-class life, which are somewhat inspired by his own upbringing in one of Italy’s wealthiest families. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s 1958 novel of “The Leopard,” published a few months after the author’s death, was an ideal fit for Visconti’s stylistic and thematic obsessions. The story centers on members of the Sicilian aristocracy during the Risorgimento (Italian unification) of the early 1860s. The aristocracy’s delicate
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