Dir. Luchino Visconti (1954). With this fascinating drama set in 1866, about a countess (Alida Valli) whose allegiance to the cause of Italian nationalism takes second place to a guilty erotic passion during the Austrian occupation of Venice, Visconti began to give full rein to his taste for theatricality and grandiose mise-en-scene. It was the first and last color film shot by great cinematographer G.R.Aldo, who died in a car crash during production. It's the first Italian film to use color dynamically.
Wed., Oct. 28, 4:30 p.m., 2009

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