Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sight & Sound Challenge: The Leopard (1963)

Film: The Leopard (230/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

Okay guys, full disclosure. I'm really close to being done with this list, but I likely won't finish. I started over three years ago while I was going through the process to become a foster parent, and I needed a distraction from the anxiety of waiting to become a parent. Well, now I am the parent of a rambunctious (and adorable) toddler who takes up a LOT of my now very precious time. A lot of the remaining films are either unavailable/impossible to find, or 3+ hours long, in some cases 4, 5, 6, 8, or 12 hours long. 12 hours! I'll do my best, but I won't kill myself, and I'm still watching a film almost every night. I just don't have the stamina for the super long ones. So that's the long story of why it took me so long to get to this one, and why I had a few mini-naps peppered throughout my viewing. 

It's not boring, it's just long. I understand why it has the long run-time. It's the story of Don Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina. He is coming to terms with the end of an era, the end of a way of life, his way of life. It's a story that would feel strange being told in 90 minutes. The scope, the lush colors (seriously, you could frame any still from this movie), it feels epic. I may have nodded off a couple times (lots of loooong conversations) but it's easy enough to follow, and Claudia Cardinale kept me coming back. Seriously, she's so gorgeous in this. Burt Lancaster gives a lovely and restrained performance. You feel his whole life in his eyes and his posture. He's tired, he feels old, and he is melancholy seeing the change in his world, even as he knows it is necessary. He's saying goodbye and good luck to a new Italy, one that he will not be a part of. And we see this new beginning ushered in the most gorgeous ball scene ever. Even if you don't sit through the rest of this, you have to see the ballroom scene. It's too beautiful. Just another example of the visual power of cinema, transporting us as if by magic. 

No comments:

Post a Comment