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L'Innocente - Virtual Cinema

Rated 14 Accompaniment

(Mature Subject Matter) 112 minutes

Dir: Luchino Visconti, Italy/France , 1976
Giancarlo Giannini, Laura Antonelli, Jennifer O'Neill

In Italian with English subtitles


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Gabriele d'Annunzio’s passionate novel is brought to life in the final masterpiece from acclaimed director Luchino Visconti. In late-nineteenth century Italy, Tullio, an insatiable aristocrat, grows bored with his timid wife Giuliana and neglects her for his mistress, the wealthy widow Countess Teresa Raffo.

Newly restored, L'INNOCENTE is a “luscious stab to the heart of the aristocracy” (Los Angeles Times) that is “among the most beautiful [and] disciplined films” Visconti ever made and a “fitting coda to [his] career” (The New York Times).

"Luchino Visconti’s last film, from 1976—an adaptation of Gabriele D’Annunzio’s 1892 novel—brings literary flair to the story of a marital disaster. A Roman aristocrat, Tullio Hermil, vainly pursues the dark-eyed, willful temptress Teresa Raffo and complains about his romantic torments to the wife he neglects, Giuliana. When, in turn, Giuliana seeks solace in the arms of a young writer, Tullio comes home to her, his conjugal passion reignited—but the revelation of her pregnancy sets off a chain of seemingly inevitable agonies. Visconti treats the script’s florid speeches as sensual delights—translations into language of a vanished opulence that his images lovingly display. He films Giannini, Antonelli, and O’Neill with a rapt tenderness. He captures their glances in closeups of magnetic power, which are matched by the mellifluous, modulated voices that pour out grief in lofty and delicate phrases—and conceal, with the same rhetorical flourishes, deeply calculated machinations of an imperial cruelty." - Richard Brody, The New Yorker