Maestro: The Films Of Luchino Visconti Rating: NNNN
For those who need respite from the sticky tawdriness of Toronto in summer, Cinematheque obliges with a comprehensive retrospective, running till August 14, of Italy's master of aristocratic historical and family drama, Luchino Visconti. This week, lace tablecloths and enormous hats vie for attention with tormented characters betrayed by their appetites.
Tonight (July 8, 6:30 pm; also July 20, 6:30 pm) there's much weeping and gnashing of teeth in Rocco And His Brothers, the epic (by which I mean long) tale of several poor Sicilian boys corrupted by the temptations of Milan, as represented by a charismatic young prostitute (Annie Girardot).
Death In Venice, showing Friday (July 9, 8:45 pm; also August 5, 8:30 pm), makes Thomas Mann's ruminative novella into a film that's virtually silent, with the exception of a few gassy flashbacks. Dirk Bogarde conveys reams of internal monologue as the cerebral composer ambushed in the last days of his life by sensual yearnings for a young boy.
And Senso, screening Wednesday (July 14, 6:30 pm), is a sumptuous, operatic melodrama in which a magnificently eyebrowed Alida Valli sells family, ideals and Garibaldi up the river for the affections of a patently unworthy Austrian soldier (Farley Granger).