Luchino Visconti’s OSSESSIONE

Italian Cinema with Irene P. Eckert


Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 2 Wed, May 18, 2016 7:00 PM


Italian Cinema with Irene P. Eckert

Luchino Visconti’s

Wednesday, May 18 at 7 pm
Members $10 | Public $15 – Includes post film discussion and reception

Passion turns deadly in this controversial neo-realist classic from acclaimed director Luchino Visconti based on James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice

Based on James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, Ossessione is a gritty, earthy (and unlicensed) adaptation of the famous noir novella, much closer in tone and spirit to Cain’s tale than the 1946 Hollywood version. Acknowledged as the first film of the Italian
neo-realist movement, the film was also the remarkably assured directorial debut of legendary filmmaker Luchino Visconti (Rocco and His Brothers, The Damned, Death in Venice, The Innocent, Senso).
Beautiful hotel owner Giovanna (Clara Calamai, Deep Red) is hopelessly drawn to Gino (Massimo Girotti, Last Tango in Paris), a handsome drifter. They decide to kill off her spouse and collect his hefty insurance premium, but soon the lovers are trapped in a spiral of deception, jealousy, and fate.
On its release in 1942, Ossessione outraged the Italian Fascist government with its shocking and authentic portrayal of proletarian life and was condemned as immoral and subversive. Heavily censored, it was initially suppressed from international distribution. All prints were destroyed, except one duplicate negative the director hid for decades, allowing Ossessione to survive as the stunning hybrid of noir and neorealism and the director’s first masterpiece. (Italy, 1943, 140 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm print courtesy of Cinecitta Instituto Luce, permission VIGGO Srl)