November 1, 2020

Birthday of the Communist-Duke

On November 2, 1906, in Milan, in the family of Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone, Duke of Grazzano Visconti and Count of Lonate Pozzolo and the daughter of the owner of one of the largest Italian pharmaceutical companies, a boy was born who received at birth the name Luchino (sometimes they say Luciano).

Luchino Visconti

From a young age, Luchino had purely aristocratic hobbies: opera, theater, horse racing. These hobbies brought him to Paris in the 30s. In Paris, the young Count Lonate Pozzolo (one of the aristocratic titles of the future director Luchino Visconti, received at birth) met Coco Chanel, and she brought him together with Jean Renoir, perhaps the most famous film director in France of the 30s.

Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers). 1960. Movie's Rating - 9,280. 101st Rank in the Golden Thousand.

Acquaintance with Renoir so strongly influenced Luchino that cinema became one of his main hobbies. Moreover, Luchino Visconti took the place of assistant director in the creative group of Renoir. Close interaction with the Renoir creative group, many of whose members adhered to leftist, communist views, led to the fact that Count Lonate Pozzolo, son of the Duke of Visconti di Modrone (and, according to rumors, the lover of the Queen of Italy), was imbued, or, as Western film critics write, "mesmerized," by communist ideas. And not just imbued with ideas, but, upon returning to Italy, joined the Communist Party.

Gruppo di famiglia in un interno (Conversation Piece). 1974. Movie's Rating - 8,186. 490th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

The return to Italy was caused by a terrible tragedy in the family of Luchino Visconti. At the very beginning of World War II, Luchino's parents and his older brother died near El Alamein. Luchino instantly inherited all the property and titles of his noble father, one listing of which takes several lines, and the financial condition of his mother. In fact, Visconti became the owner of one of the largest estates in Europe. What else is needed for happiness? But Luchino, as a member of the Communist Party, joined the Italian Resistance and soon, as a participant in the anti-fascist conspiracy, found himself in the Mussolini’s dungeons. By some miracle, he managed to escape the death penalty.

Il gattopardo (The Leopard). 1963. Movie's Rating - 8,140. 544th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

As soon as Italy freed itself from the fascist regime in 1943, Luchino Visconti began his independent cinematographic activity, combining it with directing in the theater, including the opera. During the period from 1943 to 1976, the year of the death of the Master, he directed 24 theatrical performances, 14 full-length feature films, 3 documentaries and 3 episodes in film anthologies.

Bellissima. 1951. Movie's Rating - 7,858. 914th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

The creative activity of Luchino Visconti continued, one might say, until the last breath of the Master. Leading the filming of the last two films, including the cinema masterpiece "Gruppo di famiglia in un interno (Conversation Piece)" Visconti carried out while in a wheelchair. Disability Visconti was the result of a stroke. Perhaps one of the causes of the stroke was Visconti's addiction to tobacco: he smoked up to 120 cigarettes a day.

Le notti bianche (White Nights). 1957. Movie's Rating - 7,846. 928th Rank in the Golden Thousand

6 feature films shot by Visconti were included in the FilmGourmand's Golden Thousand. For his contribution to world cinema, Luchino Visconti is included in the list of 100 greatest world cinema directors compiled by FilmGourmand.

La caduta degli dei (Götterdämmerung, The Damned). 1969. Movie's Rating - 7,797. 982nd Rank in the Golden Thousand.