Close Up

5 - 26 May 2019: The Leopard


The Leopard
Luchino Visconti, 1963, 187 min
Italian with English subtitles

"The Leopard is not an “objective” account of the Risorgimento; instead, it tells the story of Italy’s unification as seen by the putrefying aristocracy it rendered irrelevant. Walled away in their Sicilian villa, the Salina family waits and prays as history circles around them like a noose. Burt Lancaster’s Prince of Salina is more concerned with his amateur astronomy and events of the stars than the political earthquakes of his own era. His silent meditations on the end of his dynastic line occupy most of the narrative as his handsome and ambitious nephew prepares to wed the daughter of an haute bourgeois landowner. Visconti harnesses all his familiarity with the sentiments, architectures and experiences of Italian aristocracy to create a period piece that is cosmic in scale and damning to the last shot." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our tribute to Scott Walker