Tuesday, July 19, 2016
La Notti Bianche (White Nights) by Luchino Visconti
I saw the most amazing film last night. La Notti Bianche (White Nights) by Luchino Visconti. For one, I can't imagine having Marcello Mastroianni and Jean Marais in the same room or scene. Two different visions of male beauty. The Mastroianni character is great. He's sort of the typical Italian guy in a new town, looking for an obsession. He finds it in Maria Schell, who in turn is obsessed with Jean Marais. The Marais and Schell characters are much more complexly than Mastroianni - and it's interesting to see how he is placed in this remote yet seductive world. The cinematography is brilliant, and I believe the story takes place in Venice, Italy. If so, the landscape of that Italian city is a separate character in the film as well. Another highlight is a great dance scene in the middle of the film. When Italians rock, they rock (dance) hard. I haven't seen such a great film in a long time - so it was a shock to come upon Notti Bianche, to remind me that the cinema arts is superb.