Film Series : Visconti

Ossessione

1943, Luchino Visconti, Italy, 140 min. With Massimo Girotti, Clara Calamai

Show Times

  • Sun, Nov 18th 2:30pm

"The fully achieved work of a matured artist, and in the last analysis it heralds nothing but the oracular career of one of the very greatest of the elect in that still small clutch of film masters." - James McCourt, Film Comment

A taut noir novel becomes an expansive neorealist prototype in Visconti's first feature. An unauthorized adaptation of James M. Cain's "The Postman Always Rings Twice," OSSESSIONE has never been officially distributed in the U.S. Gino (Girotti), a hunky drifter in a sleeveless undershirt, drifts into a rural gas station/café. He locks eyes with the owner's restless wife (Calamai), and it's lust at first sight. But there's that husband in the way, plus an insurance policy to complicate matters further. Visconti simplifies Cain's twisty plotline but embellishes the narrative with flow-of-life details and digressions that have caused the film to be counted as an important forerunner of the neorealist movement. He also adds a homoerotic dimension by giving the male lead the beauty close-ups and by inventing the bromantic character Spagnolo ("The Spaniard"). In Italian with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)