Le notti bianche

We're in the middle of a trilogy of films that claim influence from Dostoevsky with the most straightforward adaptation of the lot in being the only one not loosely inspired by a half-remembered scene from The Idiot. Instead Luchino Visconti, who we last saw with the phenomenal film The Leopard last year, does a fairly faithful take on Dostoevsky's 1948 short story White Nights which turns out to be better representative of my psyche than The Idiot ever really was. My relationship to Dostoevsky's work gets meta this week and I learn some things. Hurray! 

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The Leopard

We return to Italian/Sicilian history with The Leopard, an historical epic about one rich man's family and political life circa Unification. Luchino Visconti's 1963 film is based on posthumously published 1958 novel of the same name by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa who now has an asteroid named after him.

The story follows an aristocrat -- played by Burt Lancaster so that the American distributors could feasibly have a chance at making any money -- who recognizes that his kinds' time is coming to an end and his nephew who will go wherever the political wind blows him as long as it keeps him in power. It's been called the Italian Gone with the Wind, but as we have seen that just means it's an historical epic. It's also really good. Like better than Gone with the Wind by a lot.

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