Rocco e i suoi fratelli
starring Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot, Katina Paxinou
screenplay by Luchino Visconti and Vasco Pratolini and Suso Cecchi d'Amico, based on the novel Il ponte della Ghisolfa by Giovanni Testori
ritten and directed by Luchino Visconti
by Travis Mackenzie Hoover Once, decades ago, Luchino Visconti was a name to conjure with. Not only was his Ossessione recognized a torrid precursor of Italian Neo-Realism, but his tragic characters on the cusp of societal change and fragmentation were greeted with the respect commonly afforded to what used to be known as high culture. Now, he's barely remembered in North America, punished for the crime of quietly going about his business. La terra trema notwithstanding, he was less movement-defining than high neo-realists like DeSica or Rossellini; nor was he an inventor of modernist forms, like Antonioni and Resnais. And as his literary, aristocratic bent was less formally bracing than a nouvelle vague hotshot, Visconti's films seem to the uninitiated too much like just movies--they didn't change how you looked at the medium, they simply inhabited it, for good or for ill.