rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960): a milkshake of melodrama

I'm back to blogspot after a summer and a third of fall's worth of abandonment.  Was originally going to post my 1/4-review-3/4-screencaps-thing onto my livejournal but it got so out of hand with my other updates that I decided that it was time to return to 'joining forces with superman.'  Not that anyone knows this exists lol!

Finally watched Luschino Visconti's Rocco e i suoi fratell (1960)--out of guilt that it's been sitting on my hard drive since who knows when and my need for some attractive Alain Delon. Typical Visconti; long, melodramatic, theatrical, and long. Many describe it as neo-realist but the only aspect I find neorealistic in this film is the focus on a poor, migrant farming family from southern Italy, trying to make a living in the cold, aloof northern industrial city of Milan (the cinematography though is stunning--especially the touches of film noir lighting and the barren landscape of working class housing).  Beyond a family's struggle to survive, Visconti takes the audience through a multi-character study of three different individuals' descending path towards the act of 'selling their soul' as a 'sacrifice,' means of surviving, or sheer lust for power and recognition.  The human condition's susceptibility to jealousy and pettiness proves as dramatic approaches to consequential demise and further disintegration of a family.  Perhaps touching another (neorealist) social commentary, the film addresses the change in times, in mentality, especially in regards of traditional spiritually-inspired acts of sainthood versus reality-oriented pragmatism.

It's like a bittersweet frothy milkshake of a bit Rocky, a bit of Italian diaspora, lots of family drama, and yummy bits of Alain Delon... There's nothing more I can say about Delon...the fact I had to wean out so many screencaps of Delon CUs says it all.

Trivia: One of Visconti's lovers was Helmut Berger, who played Ludwig in the really, really long film called Ludwig with Romy Schneider, Delon's ex. Berger was also in De Sica's last film, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, in which I recall him being blonde, beautiful, and anemic.

1 comment:

danica said...

i love your milkshake analogy! i will have to check this out.