Luchino Visconti Di Modrone
(1906, Milan – 1976, Rome), stage and film director and scriptwriter, descendant of an ancient noble line with strong left-wing sympathies. He worked as assistant to Jean Renoir. His first film Obsession (Ossessione, 1942), a loose adaptation of James M. Cain’s novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, launched the Neorealist movement. Subsequent unforgettable works such as The Earth Trembles (La terra trema, 1947), Rocco and His Brothers (Rocco e i suoi fratelli, 1960), The Leopard (Il gattopardo, 1963) and Death in Venice (Morte a Venezia, 1971) placed him alongside seminal filmmakers of the 20th century. His entire oeuvre, with its tendency towards aestheticism, formal sophistication and scenographic perfection, interweaves the themes of love and death, and depicts the decay of the old society and the decline of its institutions and values.