Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Luchino Visconti- Le Notti bianche

Last night I watched Le Notti bianche (The White Nights) by famed director Luchino Visconti. Based on a story by Dostoevsky by the same name, which you can read here, it conveys the message that Life Is Disappointing and Love Is Fleeting. Which is not surprising, considering its source.

But amidst the generally dissatisfying nature of our existence, some moments of real joy and exhilaration pop up. These are expressed skillfully by the above scene, conveying both the advanced Americanization of Italy in 1957 and some unsuspected goofiness from the ever-gorgeous Marcello Mastroianni.

The film is not a crowd pleaser, but I found it well worth watching. Its background was a carefully-constructed set reproducing (of all places) Livorno, and not Venice as some may suspect, because of the canals and little bridges. The movie has been remade several times, most recently as Two Lovers, with Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow.