Luchino Visconti 1963 Italy
What is an Epic? Is there a way to define it? To steal a phrase from a certain court, I may not know what an Epic is but I know what one looks like when I see it Epics I think sweep you up. I think they overwhelm the senses to a degree. David Lean is one of my favorite directors. Because of his “epics”. Apocalypse Now was an epic film about the war. Platoon was not, although I loved the film. But I cannot explain why Apocalypse Now sticks with me more. It was the feel? Grandeur? Pehaps this is the word to describe it. When I first saw Gone With The Wind it swept me off my feet and took me on a magic carpet ride. It made me feel like I was there. It became part of me. Epics I think shape our appreciation of Art. Ot at least of film.
The Leopard is an Epic. Its is such a great epic it made my alltime top 20 list. The feeling you get while watching it is a country changing. A way of life changing. Watching the faint whispers of what was fly away. It brought me to that time, that place. Maybe this movie affected me as much as it did as now that I am older, And my kids have now grown and in a day to day feeling have “flown” away I can relate with the main character. “The Prince” played by Burt Lancaster. Watching his whole world disappear. And change. As well as growing older himself. And not having the same “power” in all respects. He meets the wonderful Claudia Cardinale and in an earlier time he could have swept her away. But now he no longer has that sway. He has grown older.
The Criterian has two versions… One subtitled and one with English dubbed in. Stick with the subtitled version.
I have watched this now 4 times. And each visit to it brings out new thoughts and feelings.
It is an amazing movie. Take the time and give it a visit.