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Canada – The sets of Visconti narrated by the Centro Cinema Cesena

The exhibit “Melodramatic Realism - Luchino Visconti’s early movies” presents images of three masterpieces of Italian neorealism. In Toronto, from July 31st to September 28th

A photo exhibition which displays photos taken on the sets of three of Visconti’s masterpieces: Ossessione/Obsession, La Terra Trema/The Earth Trembles and Bellissima.
The first steps of Luchino Visconti and the first steps of Italian neorealism are documented in an exhibition of great value from the photographic point of view.

It starts with Obsession, with photos by Osvaldo Civirani -famous name in the history of film stills- that prove a fundamental change in cinema photography since it is one of the first times pictures are taken while shooting.
Far away from movie studios and surrounded by the river Po landscapes, the movie by Visconti required that type of innovation that gave way to the creation of Neorealism.

The pictures by Paul Ronald on The Earth Trembles depict with great mastery Sicilian places and views of a movie that -though initially conceived as a simple documentary- will become one of Visconti’s masterpieces. Ronald, called on set by the director of photography Aldo Tonti, will also became one of the greatest photographers of Italian cinema.

Those pictures also represent the starting point of a productive cooperation between the director and the photographer that will be reconfirmed with Bellissima, for which Ronald became, after the beginning of works, director of photography. The cooperation between Visconti and Ronald continued until the first half of the 60s.

All images come from the Centro Cinema Città di Cesena's archives. The exhibit, curated by the director Antonio Maraldi, has been realized in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto on the occasion of the TIFF - Toronto International Film Festival retrospective: “Maestro! The Films of Luchino Visconti”.

The amazing images taken on the sets as well as the scenes from the movies clearly describe the director’s unique ability in working with the actors and with the local people to achieve a melodramatic and realistic work.

The photos on display are also the perfect scenery for the lecture Between Realism And Melodrama: Luchino Visconti’s Early Films (on August 7th, 06:30pm, still at the Italian Cultural Institute).
Drawing from these precious iconographic materials, Alberto Zambenedetti, assistant professor of Italian Cinema at the University of Toronto, will discuss Visconti’s signature style, his relationship with actors, and the politics of his cinema.


Centro Cinema Città di Cesena

Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto

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