TSPDT Greatest Films #65 Il gattopardo (Luchino Visconti, 1963)
Il gattopardo is an extraordinary epic film on a family in Sicilia made on a scale of unequaled beauty. This story is set in the period of the Revolution of Garibaldi just before Vittorio-Emanuel took power in Italy.
Il gattopardo depicts the many changes between the order of the world before and after the revolution. It is illustrated with the many conflicts between generations of the old and the new Italy. The main thought of Visconti is about how great changes like revolutions only changed the oppressors of the people or the structure and didn't changed the life of people. These events are big only if humanity wants to consider them. Like the general who constantly praised himself and Garibaldi by telling his story bigger and better everytime.
The images are perfect and Visconti has the hand of a great master with all his confidence. Every frame is wonderful. The long takes immerse the viewer into the majesty of the film.
But with all his perfection and beauty, Il gattopardo is a little too perfect and sometimes it's just too overwhelming and a little slow for the modern day film goers. On the other hand, this is a piece of history and should regarded as one of Luchino Visconti's masterpieces.
A Film Retrospective by Michaël Parent