A complete retrospective of everyone's favorite Marxist/Catholic/queer/aristocrat auteur--Luchino Visconti--will play at the Walter Reade Theater from June 8th through June 18th. It will then travel to TIFF (Toronto, ON), Bampfa (Berkeley, CA), National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), MFAH (Houston, TX), and The Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago, IL). Information at:
Some lovely analysis of THE DAMNED (to be screened in a restored print):
And my favorite story about DEATH IN VENICE (also playing in a restored print):
After the screening for Warner Bros. executives ended, Visconti thought the dead silence that greeted him was a good sign. It wasn't. Dirk Bogarde reported that to break the silence, one executive said “Well: I think the music is great. Just great. It’s a terrific theme. Terrific! Who was it did your score, Signore Visconti?”. On being told the music had been written by Gustav Mahler, he replied “Just great … I think we should sign him!”
Warner Bros. was going to destroy all prints, but Visconti used his connections to have a gala screening arranged for the benefit of Venice to be attended by Princess Anne and Queen Elizabeth. That saved the film from being destroyed, though it did suffer at the hands of critics. Here is Molly Haskell--usually on the mark--misunderstanding the film and its queerness:
Audience could go gaga over Fellini/Truffaut/Godard/Chabrol/Antonioni and all their muses, but a queer director with a male muse--run for the exits and protect the children. Admittedly, it was only two years after Stonewall, but still. And Fassbinder--who listed THE DAMNED as his favorite film--had already made 11 feature films since his first in 1969.