Visconti's "Rocco and His Brothers"

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Visconti's "Rocco and His Brothers"

Postby gary-2 » Wed Jul 10, 2002 11:22 am

Watched this film the other day... For my review with screen captures http://207.136.67.23/film/Reviews/rocco.htm#r

Luchino Visconti directed a dour, realistic and entrancing film of the growing pains of the uprooted Parondi family. The window Rosaria Parondi (Katina Paxinou) has come to Milan from the relentlessly toiling farm country and agricultural depression of the south (Lucania), in the hopes of making a better life for her 5 sons. From oldest to youngest; Vincenzo (Spiros Focas), Simone (Renato Salvatoi), Rocco (Alain Delon), Ciro (Max Cartier), and young Luca (Rocco Vidolazzi). Vincenzo was sent ahead to arrange housing, but has procrastinated this duty and fallen in love with Ginetta (Claudia Cardinale) gratefully utilizing her family's living quarters, shelter and food. Just as the young lovers celebrate their betrothal Vincenzo's family arrivals immediately start the standard clan bickering with Ginetta's relatives.


Right from the very first scene we can sense the warmth and loyalty of the Parondi family with the surrounding brothers protectively minding Mother Rosaria in an uncluttered train station. Their wide-eyes innocence in their first trek into the bustling big city is endearing and sets the tone for the central emphasis of the film; family ties.

Chaptered for each brother, the film holds a gentle authority over the viewer. We see how their life decisions and directions mutually affect each other as their personalities become more defined to us. The large city corrupts their innocence to varying degrees with Rocco's contrasted honorable simplicity as the strong link to keep them bonded.


Almost as a rite of passage two brothers eventually become embroiled in a fight over a woman. Although vengefully beaten by unprincipled brother Simone, younger Rocco cannot hold a grudge as he admonishes himself for not
noticing the depth of his older sibling's feelings for Nadia (Annie Girardot), an opportunistic survivor who learned quite early how to get what she wants from men with her abundantly flirtatious charms. Rocco's unselfish self-sacrificing family values continually attempt to keep the Parondi brother's together and proves to be the cogent kindred glue.Sexuality, innocence, fraternal anger and loyalty, masculine pride and jealousy, strong family values as well as violence, rape and eventually murder all maintain the theme of sorrow and unattainable happiness for the tragic family unit.


The acting, extroverted in most certain Italian explosive mannerisms, still holds its realism. The 1991 print restoration makes this a treasure to view with black and white sharpness and clarity of environment and skin tones. The almost 3 hours of story are balanced and pass by effortlessly. This is a film that will stay with you as you reflect upon its charms and social values regardless of there occasional harsh nature. I suggest watching with a glass or two of Amarone (also known as a super Valpolicella) or even Chianti. Some pasta with light sauce wouldn't hurt either. Immersing yourself in old world charm is easy done and seemingly appropriate for this
viewing. I give it 4.5/5 .


DVD
The Image Entertainment DVD is quite nice. No extras to speak of, but a perfectly clear non-anamorphic image with mixed volume sound. I did notice adjusting the volume up and down a number of times. It has the ability to remove the English sub-titles and there are 20 accessible chapters. I rate it 4 out of 5 as a commentary , trailers or documentary would have been greatly appreciated.

Ciao,
Gary
gary-2
 


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