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Author Topic: The Leopard aka Il gattopardo (1963)  (Read 19368 times)
The Peacemaker
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« Reply #30 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.

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« Reply #31 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.

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« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2007, 12:13:42 PM »

Never saw the film but was always curious as to what this film was about.

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« Reply #33 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?  Wink   Grin

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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2007, 03:12:25 PM »

HA!!! You think I'd fall for that one again Dave?  Wink   Grin

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

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« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2007, 05:18:39 PM »

HA!!! You think I'd fall for that one again Dave?  Wink   Grin
He CAN be taught!!!

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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2008, 06:30:43 PM »

Claudia's entrance just blows me away in this movie.

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« Reply #37 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.

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« Reply #38 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.

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« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2010, 05:02:25 PM »

Criterion is bringing it out this June on Blu-ray.

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« Reply #40 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...

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« Reply #41 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.

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« Reply #42 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.

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« Reply #43 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

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« Reply #44 on: June 17, 2010, 12:08:37 PM »

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare5/leopard.htm

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