Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: COLONNA on December 11, 2003, 03:19:12 AM



Title: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: COLONNA on December 11, 2003, 03:19:12 AM
I just bought the new DVD: complete, brilliant, luxurious with many  great actors (Burt Lancaster is a master)

Some " spagh " names: giulano gemma,  terence hill and ... wild and a little bit fat Claudia herself   :D


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Groggy on December 11, 2003, 04:47:19 AM
 Yes, I love this movie.  The only of Visconti's I've seen, and it's superb.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: COLONNA on December 12, 2003, 03:19:45 AM
Groggy, try to see "Les Damnés" (French title) , it's great with an amazing scene about the "long-knife night" when Nazi SS killed Nazi SA .. . Others Visconti products are very good.
I give you the french titles: Violence et passion (with burt lancaster) , Ludwig , L'innocent, Death at Venice.
Visconti was noble, gay and marxist , you could try to recognize his three obsession within his master pieces


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Groggy on December 12, 2003, 04:46:18 AM
Groggy, try to see "Les Damnés" (French title) , it's great with an amazing scene about the "long-knife night" when Nazi SS killed Nazi SA .. . Others Visconti products are very good.
I give you the french titles: Violence et passion (with burt lancaster) , Ludwig , L'innocent, Death at Venice.
Visconti was noble, gay and marxist , you could try to recognize his three obsession within his master pieces

Les Damnes (sorry, can't make the accent mark) sounds interesting.  

Visconti: Noble, gay, Marxist?  I wouldn't have thought those could go together, but here we are.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: COLONNA on December 21, 2003, 03:04:27 AM
There are many common points between Sergio and Visconti  :

-Italians
-Sense of the Opera and the "great entairtainment"
-Good use of US Stars with sometime a reboot of their carreer (Lancaster, Fonda )
- Taken risk with young actors for main characters  : Clint, Delon
- Admiration for fine ladies; Claudia, Romy
-Landscapes
-precise suits
-Historical background
-Musical use

It seems that Bernardo Bertolluci was impressed by both Directors .Rememeber Novecento

Let's imagine; 1880 Olive crisis in Sicilia, many people ruined and went to America to become pistoleros : Terence Hill , Giulano Gemma or whore: Claudia. ;)


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Groggy on December 21, 2003, 05:35:54 AM
There are many common points between Sergio and Visconti  :

-Italians
-Sense of the Opera and the "great entairtainment"
-Good use of US Stars with sometime a reboot of their carreer (Lancaster, Fonda )
- Taken risk with young actors for main characters  : Clint, Delon
- Admiration for fine ladies; Claudia, Romy
-Landscapes
-precise suits
-Historical background
-Musical use

It seems that Bernardo Bertolluci was impressed by both Directors .Rememeber Novecento

Let's imagine; 1880 Olive crisis in Sicilia, many people ruined and went to America to become pistoleros : Terence Hill , Giulano Gemma or whore: Claudia. ;)


Well, very true.  Don't know what I can add?


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Poggle on June 09, 2005, 06:49:48 PM
I heard that this was a big inspiration to Sergio and, from the various pictures I've seen, it looks like it could've visually inspired movies like OUATIA and The Godfather.

From what I've read though it's hard to understand what the movie is. Is it one long soap opera? A war movie? A drama like OUATIA or GF? Does much really go on with the characters? Does the story cover a lot of ground?

Is Nino Rota's score on par with The Godfather movies or Morricone's stuff?


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 09, 2005, 07:17:43 PM
I think The Leopard's influence shows mostly in DYS, maybe a bit in OUATITW and OUATIA. Leone and Visconti took similar approaches to set design; both directors were obsessed with details. Perhaps Leone took some of his ideas of pacing from Visconti as well.

You can call The Leopard a soap opera if you want, but the conflicts are very low key, usually unspoken. The film has kind of a glacial pace (there is a fancy ball at the end of the movie that lasts 40 minutes), and nothing of any great importance happens to the main character (played by Burt Lancaster), who is an aristocrat in decline. You see him slowly losing his place in the world, as he realizes that the nobility is finished and that he will die before too long. Yet he remains a fascinating character.

I like the film a lot, but it is very different from Leone's movies.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: redyred on June 10, 2005, 06:09:46 AM
Along with being a big influence on Leone and Copolla, Martin Scorcese is quoted as saying "This is one of the films I live by".

I've been curious about this one for a while, I came this {--} close to buying it the other day.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 10, 2005, 11:50:11 PM
The Criterion DVD of the film looks amazing.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Groggy on June 11, 2005, 06:17:55 AM
Very entertaining and extraordinarily well-made film.  I don't understand why Burt Lancaster of all people was cast as a Sicilian count in an Italian film, but he was good enough that I could ignore that for the most part.   And of course our very own Claudia Cardinale is drop dead gorgeous in this film.  :-*


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 12, 2005, 09:09:05 PM
Very entertaining and extraordinarily well-made film.  I don't understand why Burt Lancaster of all people was cast as a Sicilian count in an Italian film...
The short answer, of course, is that money always follows stars. Financing for a film is often made possible by having a name actor attached to a project.

All this talk about the film drove me to watch it again this weekend, and I gotta say, the more I watch it, the more of Leone I see in it. Consider that it has not only Claudia but Pola Stoppa (Sam in OUATITW) and Romolo Valli (Dr. Villega in DYS). Consider also that Sicily looks a lot like Spain at times, and that Visconti uses a color palette of mostly yellows and browns. Study the Battle of Palermo sequence, and see how Visconti uses smoke and dust and a sense of general confusion throughout. Remind you of any other director? Notice in particular the moment when captured soldiers are lined up and shot by firing squad: seen that anywhere else?

The thing that really had me sitting up and taking notice was a detail that happens just before the elegant dinner scene: a servant comes and announces the meal, we get a close-up of this funny-looking guy (who I don't think we ever see again) and he comes out with the Italian equivalent of "Come and get it." Totally Sergio!


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Poggle on June 13, 2005, 07:41:21 AM
Wow, I definately have to check this movie out!

Quote
I think The Leopard's influence shows mostly in DYS, maybe a bit in OUATITW and OUATIA

Ahh, my two favorite movies(OUATs) and my favorite movie trilogy! :) I've been searching for Italian epics that take themselves very seriously, like OUATIA, GF, etc. and this sounds like the godfather of "The Great Epic Italian Drama" :)

But I have a question about Italian movies like this in general, a little off-topic - Do Visconti's movies have that kind of goof appeal in a serious context like Leone and Bertolucci? Novecento is a good example! "Oh, cocaine, I'd like to try some, let me try some!". Heehee, that scene was hilarious.
Same thing with clownish characters in a serious movie. Fat Moe & Cockeye and Attila & Ada being a good example ;D


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 13, 2005, 04:59:18 PM
But I have a question about Italian movies like this in general, a little off-topic - Do Visconti's movies have that kind of goof appeal in a serious context like Leone and Bertolucci? Novecento is a good example! "Oh, cocaine, I'd like to try some, let me try some!". Heehee, that scene was hilarious.
Same thing with clownish characters in a serious movie. Fat Moe & Cockeye and Attila & Ada being a good example ;D
You don't really get much "low" humor in Visconti, he takes things pretty seriously. There is a certain amount of wry humor in The Leopard, but it mostly concerns gauche characters who have pretentions to elegance. For example, there's a moment in the film when one character serves wine to Lancaster, and Burt takes it to be polite. He knows it isn't going to be up to his usual standards, but it is important that he not shame the other man by refusing. Nonetheless, after tasting the wine, Lancaster can't quite suppress a look showing his sense of having been betrayed (a look that almost says, "You dare to serve such an inferior vintage to the Prince of Salina!"). Are you laughing yet?

There IS some mirth here, but actually Donald Pleasance did a better job bringing off a similar scene in a Columbo episode.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Leone Admirer on June 22, 2005, 12:01:09 PM
The Criterion DVD of the film looks amazing.

Agreed! What I like doing at the moment (and have been for the past year and a bit) is going through the Criterion website, reading synopsis and blind buying. The Leopard was one of my BB results and I enjoyed it greatly. I can definatly see a bit of Visconti in Leone's later works. I haven't  been let down with a single BB from the Criterions and I thoroughly enjoy trailing through their site.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Poggle on July 05, 2005, 07:53:16 PM
After reading about how the interior of Morton's train, the interior of the wagon on the beginning of DYS and Max's office at the end of OUAIIA all look like they could be inspired by The Leopard, I started thinking - The Leopard is about an aristocrat falling from power, and Morton, the rich aristocrats on the beginning of DYS and Max eventually fall from their power and authority in the movies.

Maybe Leone letting Visconti's artistic world co-exist with his?

I guess if anyone doesn't want to be ousted from their positions they better not get any interior decorating ideas from these movies :P


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Blueberry on August 19, 2005, 03:12:15 AM
On the Big Screen!!

Re-premiere today in 2 Danish cinemas... all the major newspapers agree in their reviews today: ****** - masterpice. Can't wait. I'll see it while waiting for the second part of 1900, which is also re-showing on the big screen at the time.  :D

Who the hell wanna go watch "The Island" or "The Fantastic 4" then?


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on August 19, 2005, 04:10:39 AM
Do the danish big screens work with classics (though the leopard and 900 are not my favourites) only in summer or throughout the year? And only in bigger cities or also in small towns? These re-releases are distributed nationally or left to theatre-owners' choice?




Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Blueberry on August 22, 2005, 07:25:25 AM
Only 2-4 cinemas in th entire country, 3 of which are in Copenhagen.

The time of year's got nothing to do with it - when they are available.

Up to the theatre-owners - no commercial cinema would do it.

These others are supported by the tax payers - a kind of public service so that we are ensured art films or small European productions once in a while.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: redyred on August 22, 2005, 09:56:01 AM
After reading about how the interior of Morton's train, the interior of the wagon on the beginning of DYS and Max's office at the end of OUAIIA all look like they could be inspired by The Leopard, I started thinking - The Leopard is about an aristocrat falling from power, and Morton, the rich aristocrats on the beginning of DYS and Max eventually fall from their power and authority in the movies.

Yeah I think Leone and Visconti both have a similar image of the decadence of the wealthy.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Blueberry on September 01, 2005, 03:36:44 AM
Watched it the other day at the cinema:

It's amazing. It is a masterpiece.

Concerning the last post about the decadence:

Visconti's much more subtle than Leone - his characters are not grotesque. Lancaster as the Prince oozes style and power - he is truly one of the last gattopardos and leones.

His character is tragic - in a noble kinda way. Surely one of Burts best performances - even if he is dubbed in Italian.

The film looks incredible - every shot, and I mean each and every one, looks like a painting. The compositions are marvellous and detailed to an incredible degree. Furthermore, some of these compositions are deeply meaningful, like when The Prince is having one of his conversations with Ciccio during hunting.

(http://www.16-9.dk/2005-02/side10/jagt1.jpg)
(http://www.16-9.dk/2005-02/side10/jagt1.jpg)

Hard to see here, but notice the way the prey is separating them for instance.

My favourite scene is the one where the Prince and all his family is going to church after their arrival at Donnafugata. They are covered in dust after the journey and are seated along the wall in one line. The camera travels along the faces of this family who looks like iconic mummies, like left-overs from a dusty past. And they are. Meanwhile the church organ is playing... great scene, man, their faces look like they are carved in stone. A moment like this in movies is what we are always looking for.

(http://www.16-9.dk/2005-02/side10/statuer.jpg)

But please, never watch this movie on a screen too small - wait till you get the chance of wathing it in 32" or more. Ir's a long film, and not very much is happening, so if you don't get the full impact of the pictures, maybe it'll be quite hard. I would never see it on a tv screen - this was just one of the best uses of extreme widescreen I have ever seen. Class.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on September 01, 2005, 04:59:14 AM
Read the novel.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Blueberry on September 01, 2005, 05:03:25 AM
Nope.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on September 02, 2005, 03:58:03 PM
Do.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Poggle on September 12, 2005, 11:58:29 PM
I just bought it and even though my right ear is clogged and buzzing, I had a headache and I didn't understand the history, I actually did enjoy it quite well and I do think that my second viewing will be way more enjoyable, especially after watching that historical documentary. I had the same problem with The Damned as well. The Damned was like watching a video documentary of hell!
The ball at the end of the movie was amazing. It felt like those long scenes that start off The Godfather movies. The scene in the office where the prince is looking at the picture and talking to Claudia and his nephew and the scene with him looking into the mirror crying made you feel for the guy :( What I like is how Visconti's style in this film is so honest of how people are that you don't have to be told to hate or like certain characters, it just all depends on your point of view.

Now that I've seen four great of Visconti's films I can't wait to get my hands on Ludwig and Senso! Now if only there were English subtitled versions of them out there :( It's like trying to find a decent Conformist.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: The Peacemaker on January 04, 2007, 07:24:11 PM
I saw this movie the other night and I fell in love with it.

The film is so beautiful, every frame is like a painting. Visconti's brilliant attention to detail alone is worth the price of admission. The ball sequence during the climax has to be the most beautiful, awe-inspiring 40 minutes of cinema to ever be printed on celluloid.

Burt Lancaster is fantastic as Don Fabrizio. I watched the 185 minute Italian subtitled version, so I didn't get to here Burt's voice. The Italian voice had a very thick Sicilian accent that fit him well. The movie also features very familiar faces from SWs such as Claudia Cardinale, Mario Girotti ( better known as Terence Hill ), Paolo Stoppa, Romolo Valli, even Giuliano Gemma shows up as Girabaldi's general.


This has become #3 on my favorite films list. Anyone interested in cinema MUST see The Leopard.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Silenzio on January 04, 2007, 07:43:21 PM
I saw this movie the other night and I fell in love with it.

The film is so beautiful, every frame is like a painting. Visconti's brilliant attention to detail alone is worth the price of admission. The ball sequence during the climax has to be the most beautiful, awe-inspiring 40 minutes of cinema to ever be printed on celluloid.

Burt Lancaster is fantastic as Don Fabrizio. I watched the 185 minute Italian subtitled version, so I didn't get to here Burt's voice. The Italian voice had a very thick Sicilian accent that fit him well. The movie also features very familiar faces from SWs such as Claudia Cardinale, Mario Girotti ( better known as Terence Hill ), Paolo Stoppa, Romolo Valli, even Giuliano Gemma shows up as Girabaldi's general.


This has become #3 on my favorite films list. Anyone interested in cinema MUST see The Leopard.

I got it from netflix and right now the disc is sitting next to me. Will watch it this weekend.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: cigar joe on January 04, 2007, 07:59:13 PM
excellent film
My favorite sequence is in the church where road dust covered Burt & family look like statues.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: The Peacemaker on January 04, 2007, 08:02:28 PM
excellent film
My favorite sequence is in the church where road dust covered Burt & family look like statues.

I love that scene too.

They really looked motionless and bereft of life.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on January 04, 2007, 08:12:07 PM
Quote
The Italian voice had a very thick Sicilian accent that fit him well.


Uh? Are you able to distinguish the various italian accents?


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: The Peacemaker on January 04, 2007, 08:19:59 PM


Uh? Are you able to distinguish the various italian accents?

It sounded very Sicilian to me.

I once knew someone who was Sicilian who spoke with a heavy accent.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 05, 2007, 05:14:20 PM
I saw this movie the other night and I fell in love with it.
Peacemaker, you're all right, I don't care WHAT marmota-b says about you.

One of the things this movie does really well is show us what an aristocrat was like. We have a hard time imagining such people now, and most actors these days just play them as regular joes who live well (kinda like film stars in period dress). In fact, they had a completely different way of looking at the world. Lancaster does a great job of conveying what is essentially an extinct form of consciousness; the film does a great job of showing why such a consciousness cannot endure in our modern, democratic world. The Prince of Salina responds to almost everything in terms of aesthetics: this is his role as arbiter of taste. But there is no place for him in a culture where standards travel from the bottom up. Pragmatism is the order of the day, hence the success of Tancredi. And so we admire The Leopard, even as we understand that society can no longer afford to keep him.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: geoman-1 on January 06, 2007, 12:13:42 PM
Never saw the film but was always curious as to what this film was about.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: The Peacemaker on January 06, 2007, 12:13:52 PM
Peacemaker, you're all right, I don't care WHAT marmota-b says about you.


HA!!! You think I'd fall for that one again Dave?  ;)   ;D


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Silenzio on January 06, 2007, 03:12:25 PM
HA!!! You think I'd fall for that one again Dave?  ;)   ;D

Can't believe you fell for it a first time.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 08, 2007, 05:18:39 PM
HA!!! You think I'd fall for that one again Dave?  ;)   ;D
He CAN be taught!!!


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: PowerRR on March 26, 2008, 06:30:43 PM
Claudia's entrance just blows me away in this movie.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 18, 2008, 11:20:56 PM
Quote
July 13, 2008
Essay
‘The Leopard’ Turns 50
By RACHEL DONADIO

Sicily is the key to Italy, as Goethe once wrote, and one novel is the key to Sicily: “The Leopard,” Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s masterpiece. This tale of the decline and fall of the house of Salina, a family of Sicilian aristocrats, first appeared in 1958, but it reads more like the last 19th-century novel, a perfect evocation of a lost world.

To mark its 50th anniversary this year, the novel’s American publisher, Pantheon, has issued a new edition with some previously unpublished material. It includes a new foreword by Lampedusa’s adopted son, Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, drawing on newly discovered correspondence from Lampedusa, a gentleman scholar who died at 60 the year before the novel — his first and last — appeared. Initially rejected by several leading publishers, “The Leopard” went on to become one of the best-selling Italian novels of the 20th century (more than 3.2 million copies sold) and the basis for Luchino Visconti’s classic 1963 film. “Reading and rereading it,” wrote E. M. Forster, an early admirer, “has made me realize how many ways there are of being alive, how many doors there are, close to one, which someone else’s touch may open.”

The novel tells the story of Don Fabrizio, the world-weary, cleareyed Prince of Salina, scion of an old feudal family and lover of astronomy. It opens in 1860 with the landing in Sicily of forces intent on unifying Italy and ends in 1910, when a priest comes to assess the reliquaries of the prince’s now aged spinster daughters. In between, it recounts the fortunes of the prince’s favorite nephew, Tancredi, who supports the unification efforts of Giuseppe Garibaldi more out of opportunism than idealism and eventually becomes a diplomat. Tancredi’s career is made possible only by his marrying money — which inevitably means marrying down. To the horror of his aunt, the devastation of a cousin who loves him and the wry comprehension of his uncle, Tancredi falls in love with Angelica, the beautiful daughter of an upwardly mobile landed peasant father and an illiterate mother not fit for polite company. It is Tancredi who speaks the novel’s most famous line: “If we want things to stay as they are,” he tells his uncle, “things will have to change.”

Tancredi’s declaration lies at the heart of “The Leopard,” at once a loving portrait of a vanished society and a critique of its provincialism. “The Sicilians never want to improve for the simple reason that they think themselves perfect,” the prince tells a Piedmontese aristocrat who tries to persuade him to become a senator. “Their vanity is stronger than their misery; every invasion by outsiders ... upsets their illusion of achieved perfection.”

In Italy’s postwar intellectual scene, dominated by Marxists after years of Fascism, Lampedusa’s novel was at first seen as quaint and reactionary, a baroque throwback at the height of neorealism in cinema and class-consciousness in all the arts. (According to David Gilmour’s excellent 1988 biography, “The Last Leopard,” the novelist was neither a Fascist nor a staunch anti-Fascist and “remained too skeptical and disillusioned to be a genuine democrat or a liberal.”)

Lampedusa was born in 1896 into an aristocratic family that had been in Sicily for centuries. A veteran of World War I, he spent his days reading European and American literature and discussing it in Palermo cafes. He married a Latvian aristocrat and intellectual, Alessandra Wolff. The couple had no children. Acutely aware he would be the last Prince of Lampedusa, he began to write about his Sicilian world.

Encouraged by the recent literary success of his cousin, the poet Lucio Piccolo, Lampedusa sent his manuscript to Mondadori, which rejected it on the recommendation of Elio Vittorini, another Sicilian novelist who worked as a consultant. A committed Marxist whose own writing was intent on dignifying the working class, Vittorini found “The Leopard” too celebratory of the aristocracy. But according to Gilmour, Vittorini never rejected the novel outright. Instead, he said it should be revised and resubmitted — a message that somehow got lost in transmission.

Lampedusa died in 1957, before the novel found a publisher. The manuscript eventually reached Giorgio Bassani, the author of “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” (1962), then an editor for the recently founded Feltrinelli, which released the book in the fall of 1958. (In 1957, Feltrinelli had made its name publishing the first official edition of Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago,” which had been smuggled out of Russia.) Pantheon published “The Leopard” in the United States in 1960, to further acclaim. The Book Review likened Lampedusa’s style to Flaubert’s and Stendhal’s, and praised his “happy merging of dry irony with subtle poetic feeling” and his depiction of the prince, torn “between lust and intelligence.”

While the novel was an immediate success in Italy, going through 52 editions in the first four months, not all critics loved it. The novelist Alberto Moravia thought the novel “right wing,” and others found fault with its pessimism. Italian Marxists denounced “its apparent denial of progress,” as Gilmour put it, though the French Marxist writer Louis Aragon disagreed, calling it a “merciless” and “left wing” critique of Lampedusa’s own class.

In a recent appearance at New York University, Lanza Tomasi acknowledged that “the division in class” depicted in the novel is “unredeemable.” And yet, Lanza said, like all great novels, “The Leopard” transcends such boundaries. Reading it, “no one believes he’s the lower class,” Lanza said. The “miracle” Lampedusa produced in this novel is that “everyone believes he’s the prince.”

A year before his death, Lampedusa adopted Lanza, a cousin and close friend 37 years his junior. Not only an heir and torchbearer — a Tancredi to Lampedusa’s Don Fabrizio — Lanza is a noted musicologist, an opera manager and a former director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York. In his foreword to the new edition, Lanza explains the book’s evolution, drawing on sketches for chapters that never made the final cut and correspondence he found tucked into books in Lampedusa’s Palermo library. (In one letter, Lampedusa writes, “N.B.: the dog Bendicò is a vitally important character and practically the key to the novel.”)

In his posthumous book “On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain” (2006), the critic Edward Said called “The Leopard” “a Sicilian ‘Death of Ivan Ilyich,’ which in turn masks a powerful autobiographical impulse.” Don Fabrizio, Said wrote, was “in effect the last Lampedusa, whose own cultivated melancholy, totally without self-pity, stands at the center of the novel, exiled from the continuing history of the 20th century, enacting a state of anachronistic lateness with a compelling authenticity and an unyielding ascetic principle that rules out sentimentality and nostalgia.”

In the family palazzo in Palermo, Lampedusa slept in the same room in which he was born and in which he expected to die. But in 1943 an Allied bomb severely damaged the building, which was later abandoned. Although “The Leopard” ends in 1910, it contains a glimpse of the future: “From the ceiling the gods, reclining on gilded couches, gazed down smiling and inexorable as a summer sky. They thought themselves eternal; but a bomb manufactured in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was to prove the contrary in 1943.”

“The novel helped him reconstitute things he’d lost,” Lanza said at N.Y.U. Like Thomas Mann, he said, Lampedusa had been born into “the full flowering of European civilization,” only to see it eclipsed. “They became

prophets of the Europe that thought of itself as the hegemony and then was superseded by the United States.”

In “The Leopard,” Don Fabrizio explains why he can’t become a senator in the new Italian republic. “I belong to an unfortunate generation, swung between the old world and the new, and I find myself ill at ease in both,” he says. Instead, he suggests making a senator of Angelica’s father, the rich peasant. “He has more than what you call prestige,” the prince says. “He has power.”

Though rooted in the 19th century, perhaps “The Leopard” really is a 20th-century novel after all.

Rachel Donadio is a writer and editor at the Book Review.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Groggy on July 19, 2008, 04:21:07 PM
Saw this many, many, many years ago. I remember liking it, and being blown away by Ms. Cardinale's impossible beauty, but that's about it. Would definitely have to see it again, although I can probably say I enjoyed Bellisma more.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 15, 2010, 05:02:25 PM
Criterion is bringing it out this June on Blu-ray.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Novecento on March 16, 2010, 02:11:30 PM
Criterion is bringing it out this June on Blu-ray.

Man, I gotta get me one of these Blu-ray players some time. Maybe this will be the release that swings it. I'm just waiting for the region-free ones to become a little cheaper...


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: T.H. on March 18, 2010, 09:43:47 PM
As long as you don't have a TV larger than 46-50 inches, there isn't much of a difference. Or so I was told. Can someone confirm this?

I'm happy with my 3 disc set.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 19, 2010, 12:24:29 PM
There's two different HD resolution standards: 720 and 1080. If you are not going up to at least, say, 42 inches, there is no reason to get equipment rated above 720. 42 and above is necessary to take advantage of 1080 (or so I'm told). However, 720 is still better than standard TVs, and displays with it provide improved images of Blu-ray and even standard DVD (which has more lines of resolution available than most standard displays can take advantage of).

I wanted a plasma screen (for a more film-like appearance) and they only start at 42 inches. I was gonna get one of those, but the marginal cost for a 46 inch was quite low so I got the larger screen. The Blu-ray discs I've played on it look phenomenal. The SD discs on it look good to great, depending on the transfers, bit rates, and whatnot. Last night I was watching a couple episodes of Cranford, a BBC TV Masterpiece Theater kind of show. It's widescreen anamorphic, and although I was watching the SD release, I was blown away by the details, colors, and lighting.

So, the advice I have for you is, buy the best system you can afford. Increased resolution equals a better picture, period.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 16, 2010, 10:58:14 AM
Blu-ray.com gives the new Criterion a row of perfect "5"s: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Leopard-Blu-ray/10495/#Review


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 17, 2010, 12:08:37 PM
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare5/leopard.htm


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 18, 2010, 06:16:02 AM
Not sure what she's doing with her left hand.
She is communicating "pensiveness."


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Groggy on June 18, 2010, 02:57:11 PM
Mr. Savant:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3235leop.html (http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3235leop.html)


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 18, 2010, 05:05:19 PM
Well spotted. Erickson's observations are, as ever, worthy of attention.

I saw the film again a few weeks ago, the first time in a theater. Even though I've seen it a number of times on LD and DVD, I watched the projected film in awe. Single frames hold so much information, at times I wanted to hit the pause button and just study the image. With the blu-ray, in the future, that's exactly how I'll be able to view the film. I'm looking forward to that.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on June 18, 2010, 08:52:05 PM
I saw the film again a few weeks ago, the first time in a theater. Even though I've seen it a number of times on LD and DVD, I watched the projected film in awe. Single frames hold so much information, at times I wanted to hit the pause button and just study the image. With the blu-ray, in the future, that's exactly how I'll be able to view the film. I'm looking forward to that.

No, it is not blu-ray making the difference but rather the screen dimensions. You ought to work on that.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 19, 2010, 09:18:02 AM
Screen dimensions? The aspect ratio has been constant on home video ever since the film's restoration. Are you talking about the size of the image? I don't subscribe to the superstition that bigger is better. Resolution is what's important, and the 1080p standard delivers what is needed.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on June 19, 2010, 04:03:52 PM
You can have all the resolution you want on a small screen, it won't compare with the impression made by a lesser resolution but on a much bigger screen. Of course, the combination of the two is the best option, but since I've adopted a 140" screen I simply cannot watch a movie or a football match even on a blu-ray but on a 50-60" tv set anymore.  That may be a subjective reaction, of course, but the fact is that all of the people to whom I have shown the effect of a bigger screen immediately concurred with me. They weren't that impressed by blu-ray which, to be best appreciatecd, needs  to be compared to the same image as played by a dvd. Same goes for HD tv.





Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 19, 2010, 05:03:39 PM
You can have all the resolution you want on a small screen, it won't compare with the impression made by a lesser resolution but on a much bigger screen. Of course, the combination of the two is the best option, but since I've adopted a 140" screen I simply cannot watch a movie or a football match even on a blu-ray but on a 50-60" tv set anymore.  That may be a subjective reaction, of course, but the fact is that all of the people to whom I have shown the effect of a bigger screen immediately concurred with me. They weren't that impressed by blu-ray which, to be best appreciatecd, needs  to be compared to the same image as played by a dvd. Same goes for HD tv.

It's a question of how close you sit to the image. The further away you are, the less your eyes can detect details on the screen--regardless of format. A larger screen just means you can sit farther away before the image starts seeming compromised. And of course when you are viewing something with several people you need to sit back far enough so that everyone has an adequate sight line, so naturally a bigger image is required. If you sit far enough away from a blu-ray image it will look no different than a standard DVD.

I find, though, whether I'm in the cinema or at home, 5 minutes into the film I'm not longer marveling at (or cursing) the size of the image; but, at any point, the fact that I can see minute details in the wallpaper, for example, can suddenly arrest my attention.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on June 19, 2010, 06:24:51 PM
It doesn't work like this. I watch the bigger screen from a double distance I watch the smaller one and it's not the same thing. Particulars come at you, you're not looking for them, even if they are less defined than watched on a more resoluted medium. The fact is that you got the hang of the scene, which you don't have on the smaller screen. That's that.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Novecento on July 08, 2010, 12:24:39 PM
The prices of Blu-ray players are falling and whilst some players can be made to play different regions fairly easily, sometimes firmware updates can cause problems.

My four Blu-ray players are region B but I think one of them could be very easily converted.  Not tried it yet as I haven't found it necessary.  There's no region A Blu-ray that I want that isn't available in a region B or region free version.

They're definitely falling, but it sure isn't easy making them region free as far as I'm aware. It seems to be totally different technology from DVD players and the modifications involved pretty much double the price of the players! If you could point me in the direction of some cheap ones, I would be very much obliged!

By the way, isn't four a little excessive?

Some of the reviewers at dvdbeaver.com actually prefer the BFI region B version of the Leopard to Criterion's region A release, even though the stats of the Criterion version look better and it has better bonus features.  Being from the U.K. the price of the Criterion release would be significantly more for me and I'm perfectly happy with my region B Blu-ray.  Arguably the colors are more natural.

Interesting to note


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Novecento on July 09, 2010, 11:55:43 AM
Thanks HG - looks like I have some researching to do!

By the way, has anyone ever read the original novel of this. I was thinking of maybe giving it a read.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 10, 2010, 12:33:01 AM
It has some "deleted scenes" that didn't make it into the movie.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Novecento on November 12, 2011, 03:33:13 AM
Has anyone seen Tornatore's 2010 documentary film (music by Morricone of course) on Goffredo Lombardo? It is called "L'ultimo gattopardo: Ritratto di Goffredo Lombardo".

I assume that the name "Gattopardo" was used because Lombardo was the producer who financed Visconti's "Il Gattopardo" (there's an interesting interview with Lombardo on the Criterion disc about this).


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Novecento on November 26, 2011, 03:16:28 AM
Seems like Tornatore's documentary has been included on the new Medusa release in Italy:

http://www.medusa.it/film/1148/il-gattopardo.shtml


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on November 26, 2011, 09:11:10 AM
By the way, has anyone ever read the original novel of this. I was thinking of maybe giving it a read.

Much better than the movie. One of the best italian novels of last century.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 26, 2011, 11:03:40 AM
Care to comment on Archibald Colquhoun's English translation? No, I didn't think so . . . .


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on November 26, 2011, 01:25:14 PM
Care to comment on Archibald Colquhoun's English translation? No, I didn't think so . . . .

Wasn't by Mickey Knox?


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 26, 2011, 04:18:32 PM
Wasn't by Mickey Knox?
;D

Some are complaining about Medusa's black levels: http://forum.blu-ray.com/italy/183567-il-gattopardo-di-luchino-visconti.html#post5499373


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Groggy on November 26, 2011, 08:04:15 PM
Let me ask a dumb question: How much better is the longer cut than the 165-ish minute one?


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Novecento on November 27, 2011, 04:22:37 AM
;D

Some are complaining about Medusa's black levels: http://forum.blu-ray.com/italy/183567-il-gattopardo-di-luchino-visconti.html#post5499373

Some guy there is saying that the restoration is better than the Criterion in spite of the black levels. Frankly I love my Criterion BD and find the print quality incredible, so certainly won't be double dipping for that reason. I am however very interested in Tornatore's documentary.

Let me ask a dumb question: How much better is the longer cut than the 165-ish minute one?

Never watched the shorter one (although it is actually included on the Criterion release)


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 27, 2011, 09:40:23 AM
Let me ask a dumb question: How much better is the longer cut than the 165-ish minute one?
I can't recall now what you lose in the shorter version (Delon and Cardinale fooling around in the deserted palace, maybe? The visit from the government official?), but the only reason to watch the 165-ish one is for Lancaster's self-dubbed audio. The longer cut with the Italian dub is the way to go.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Groggy on November 27, 2011, 09:58:03 AM
If I can possibly find the time I'll give it a look then. O0


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Groggy on February 08, 2013, 06:32:50 PM
The inevitable Groggy review. Long-winded as usual, but this film deserves it.

Quote
Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (1963) stands as a landmark in Italian cinema. This sprawling adaptation of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's novel is long, beautifully shot and intricately plotted, creating a masterwork of commendable depth. 

Don Fabrizio Corbero, Prince Salina (Burt Lancaster) enjoys life in 1860s Sicily: he has a large family, vast estates, a young mistress and money to indulge his hobbies. Salina's life turns upside down when Giuseppe Garibaldi's Red Shirts capture the island. Salina takes the advice of his ambitious nephew Tancredi (Alain Delon): "Everything needs to change for everything to stay the same." Salina arranges Tancredi's marriage to Angelica (Claudia Cardinale), the daughter of Don Sedara (Paolo Stoppa), a nouveau riche in with the Republicans. As he negotiates with the new government, Salina realizes time has passed him by.

The Leopard provides no end of beautiful scenery, from Giuseppe Rotunno's pastoral shots of Sicily's countryside and elaborate palaces to the scenes of revolutionary turmoil. Visconti stages a violent street battle in Palermo, outdoing Hollywood epics in its breathtaking sweep. In Salina's mountain exile and hunting trips, Visconti scales individuals against verdant, unchanging landscapes. The scope and pageantry displayed is amazing: Visconti's come along way from his neo-realist roots.

Visconti dwells on ritual, incorporating church services, dinners and elections into his thematic texture. One remarkable scene has Salina's family visit a village cathedral. While priests in red-and-gold vestments toil in the foreground, the drably-clothed aristocrats fade gargoyle-like into the pews. There's Salina's dinner, rudely interrupted by Tancredi's storytelling and Angelica's raucous laughter. The most celebrated scene is the concluding ball, where traditional aristocrats mingle with military heroes and erstwhile revolutionaries. All beautifully express an ancien regime eclipsed by an uncertain future.

These rituals showcase Visconti's sensitive yet critical portrayal of this dying breed. Salina lives an empty life, a parade of church services, shooting trips and civic duties. His family is a constant headache: his wife (Rina Morelli) is a nagging prude, daughter Concetta (Lucilla Morlacchi) an introvert, Tancredi a reckless spendthrift. Hobbies (astronomy) and vices (his mistress) provide only little respite. Salina only rouses to action when events threaten, negotiating with power brokers to keep his family in sybaritic stasis. Visconti gently condemns the gentry by showing their superfluity.

Italy's resorgimento was a complicated series of wars and political deals, involving not only Italy's various states but Austria, France and Prussia. Visconti focuses on Garibaldi's dramatic early success, even then showing signs of dissolution. In the film's key scene, Salina explains to Victor Emmanuel's naive emissary (Leslie French) that Sicily's fierce independence causes them to resent interfering foreigners, however well-intentioned. His cynicism proves well-founded: Garibaldi himself becomes an undesirable as Italy transforms into an unstable monarchy.

Indeed, The Leopard evinces potent cynicism for bourgeois "revolution." The Red Shirts speak loudly of democracy but defer to established power structures. The rigged plebiscite is treated as a comic set piece, with Sedara's pompous victory speech interrupted by an overeager marching band. Visconti's scorn for middle class moralism has an interesting double-edge, as not only the hereditary Duke of Cardone but also a Communist. From this perspective, feudal Sicily at least lacks republican hypocrisy.

Lampedusa's broad narrative allows Visconti to flesh out characters and subplots. Cash-poor Tancredi and lower-class Angelica make a perfect love match, symbolically, practically and romantically. Initially a playboy, Tancredi proves a cagey survivor who joins the revolution to uphold family prestige. He has no use for the lovesick but complacent Concetta, herself romanced by a dashing soldier (Terence Hill). Sedara exploits events for personal gain, while Salina's friends Father Pirrone (Romolo Valli) and Ciccio (Serge Raggiani) see nothing but trouble ahead.

One mark of a classic is its influence on future filmmakers, something The Leopard has in spades. Sergio Leone borrowed a few grace notes (and several actors) for his later epics, but Francis Ford Coppola grafted Visconti's style wholesale onto The Godfather, from Connie's elaborate wedding to the lush Nino Rota score. Michael Cimino and Martin Scorsese paid homage less successfully in The Deer Hunter and Gangs of New York, respectively. There's a fine line between grandeur and excess, a tightrope Visconti effortlessly negotiates.

Burt Lancaster gives a remarkable performance. Physically imposing as always, Burt is nonetheless near-unrecognizable framed by leonine whiskers, aristocratic outfits and a dour expression. He's dubbed into Italian by Corrado Gaipa, which oddly benefits his performance: it's much easier to accept Lancaster as a 19th Century Sicilian without his unmistakable voice. Salina isn't a particularly noble character, but Lancaster provides him remarkable hauteur, warmth and humanity.

Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale provide a glamorous counterpoint. Delon mixes swashbuckling idealism with knowing cynicism, a ruthless but charming survivor. Cardinale gives possibly her best performance: Angelica's pouty reserve masks a vivacious personality and social ambition. Histrionics aside, has a more beautiful couple ever graced the screen? They're simply a joy to watch.

Romolo Valli (Death in Venice) provides warm support as Salina's grouchy priest. Paolo Stoppa (Once Upon a Time in the West) mixes bonhomie and vulgar craftiness in a complex character turn. Leslie French makes as an impression, too, as an idealistic Republican official. Spaghetti Western fans can spot Terence Hill, Giuliano Gemma and Lou Castel in minor roles.

The Leopard is a remarkable achievement. Long and stately at 185 minutes, its endlessly watchable for depth, scope and impeccable craftsmanship. It's Luchino Visconti's magnus opus, and one of Italy's greatest films. 9/10

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-leopard.html (http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-leopard.html)


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: titoli on October 23, 2013, 10:36:43 AM
http://video.repubblica.it/spettacoli-e-cultura/il-gattopardo-torna-in-sala-restaurato-clip-inedita/143967/142499?ref=HRERO-1

A scene cut from Visconti himself, only available in french. The movie to be rereleased in Italy next week in restored versio in 70 theatres.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Novecento on October 23, 2013, 08:34:15 PM
Wow! Do you think it will get a new BD release in Italy to replace the old one?

I think there are three scenes existing in French only:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GEEeAzNd2E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3OtU-qkHo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK3ysXHw4KY

I'm assuming these were part of the fabled 205 min premiere? I'm also assuming these won't be included in the new restoration? However, does anyone know if the French BD keeps these scenes intact?


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 24, 2013, 08:06:16 AM
Wow! Do you think it will get a new BD release in Italy to replace the old one?

I think there are three scenes existing in French only:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GEEeAzNd2E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3OtU-qkHo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK3ysXHw4KY
Those scenes are not only weak, they actually detract from the work as a whole. The director was wise to excise them. Restoring them is actually a betrayal of Visconti's art. Of course, there is always money to be made on idiots who can be lured by the idea that "bigger is better," so longer cuts will continue to appear.


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Novecento on October 24, 2013, 04:30:14 PM
Ok, but are these scenes that were in the premiere and are they still intact in standard French releases?


Title: Re: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)
Post by: Novecento on October 27, 2013, 07:30:24 PM
I think there are three scenes existing in French only:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GEEeAzNd2E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3OtU-qkHo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK3ysXHw4KY

So after a little research, it seems the version that won the Palme d'Or at Cannes was the 195min cut (from the first 205min cut) that includes these three scenes that only remain in French. After winning, it seems Visconti then cut it again down to 185min.