A complete retrospective of Italian cinema titan Luchino Visconti has smashed box office records for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, grossing $75,362 and drawing 6,970 attendees in its first week. The series, a co-presentation with Istituto Luce Cinecittà, is already the most successful repertory program in the Film Society’s history.
The retrospective includes all 14 of Visconti’s feature films as well as a program of three short works, and concludes with a weeklong run of Ludwig, a portrait of the controversial Bavarian king. Ludwig screens on a new 35mm print of the original director’s cut, twice daily this Friday, June 22 through Thursday, June 28. See the full schedule and get tickets here.
“It’s invigorating to see such amazing crowds for Visconti, who was overdue for a New York retrospective,” said FSLC Associate Director of Programming and series co-curator Florence Almozini. “I hope that audiences will revisit the underseen Ludwig, a film that is ripe for rediscovery; the stunning new print brings out colors like I’ve never seen and must be witnessed on the big screen. To quote Visconti via Ludwig: ‘Art is the absolute truth’ and I would add that the pure beauty of Visconti’s films is absolute art.”
“With retrospectives of Visconti, Raúl Ruiz, and other filmmakers both canonical and underrecognized throughout the year, we keep one eye on the past while looking forward to the next generation through our festivals and special events,” said FSLC Director of Programming Dennis Lim. “Moviegoing is alive and well in New York, and we’re proud that the Walter Reade Theater remains among the best places in the city to see a film—a home for budding cinephiles and completists alike.”
Encore screenings of select titles have been added in response to the series’s success: today and Thursday, June 21, and July 17-19; complete schedule below.
“Luce Cinecittà is thrilled by the response from the New York press and public to Luchino Visconti’s masterpieces, that we have carefully re-printed and restored for this occasion,” said Roberto Cicutto, CEO of Luce Cinecittà. “Bravo to our partner the Film Society of Lincoln Center for adding more screenings so that more audiences can see this master director’s works of art. After joining forces for past retrospectives of Anna Magnani and Marcello Mastroianni, we are proud to continue collaborating to bring our masters back.”
Italian nobility, a member of the Italian Communist Party during World War II, openly gay and staunchly Catholic, Luchino Visconti inhabited a complicated, at times paradoxical, role in Italian cinema culture. A leader in the neorealismo movement who also worked with international stars like Burt Lancaster, Helmut Berger, Alain Delon, and Dirk Bogarde, Visconti produced an oeuvre of modest and humane dramas as well as decadent, sprawling historical spectacles.
The retrospective showcases the full range of Visconti’s oeuvre, from his debut feature Ossessione, widely regarded as the first neorealist film, and memorable contributions to the movement including La Terra trema and Rocco and His Brothers; to masterful literary adaptations Death in Venice and The Stranger; and sumptuous yet skewering portraits of the aristocracy—The Damned, which marked his first Academy Award nomination (for screenwriting); The Leopard, his tour de force Palme d’Or-winning epic; and his final film, The Innocent.
After its run at the Film Society, the retrospective tours North America, screening at venues including the Harvard Film Archive (through July 15), TIFF (July 26 – August 19), BAMPFA (September 15 – November 30), National Gallery of Art (November 3 – December 16), MFA Houston, and The Gene Siskel Film Center.
Visconti was organized by Florence Almozini and Dan Sullivan of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and by Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero of Istituto Luce Cinecittà. Co-produced by Istituto Luce Cinecittà, Rome. Presented in association with the Ministry of Culture of Italy.
ENCORE SCREENING SCHEDULE
All films screen at the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th St.).
Monday, June 19
4:00pm Sandra (105m)
Thursday, June 21
4:15pm Death in Venice (130m)
7:00pm Rocco and His Brothers (177m)
Tuesday, July 17
4:30pm The Innocent (112m)
7:00pm The Leopard (186m)
Wednesday, July 18
4:30pm Sandra (105m)
7:00pm Rocco and His Brothers (177m)
Thursday, July 19
3:00pm The Leopard (186m)
7:00pm The Damned (156m)
Tickets on sale now! Reserve at the film pages above or here.