Luchino Visconti’s masterpiece with Alain Delon will return this evening to Arte.
Luchino Visconti’s return to neorealism
Social- traitor. The left-wing press, extremely prescriptive in Italy at the end of the 1950s, fell head over heels for Senso, the previous film by Luchino Visconti, his very first in color, a great historical fresco whose splendor on the screen made them jump. And fight back with The sleepless nights, his very first studio experience, despite being awarded a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The filmmaker is accused of having denied the genre that revealed him and that he knew how to take to heights with The Devilish Lovers, the earth is shaking And Bellissima. So Visconti operates a return to basics here. A black and white film centered on a mother and her four sons who flee the misery of southern Italy to join the eldest child in Milan. Without suspecting that the family harmony will be very quickly and violently broken, two of the brothers having fallen under the spell of the same young prostitute. And if he too triumphs in Venice, Rocco and his brothers will remain above all as one of the peaks of the work of the maestro in the same way as Cheetah Or Death in Venice. Works that have entered the history of the seventh art never to leave it.
The first Visconti-Delon collaboration
Actors’ agents often play a decisive role in the careers of those they represent. Alain Delon thus owes to his own, Olga Herstig, one of the encounters that would profoundly change his career and his life. Yet when she speaks to him for the first time about Visconti, the actor is hardly thrilled. He only imagines his future in France and does not understand the interest of this meeting with an Italian director he has never heard of. But Olga Herstig insists and Delon ends up agreeing to make the trip to London where Visconti is staging an opera by Verdi. The little story – or the legend? – as told by some, the actor was impressed to see that all of Visconti’s luggage bore his initials (LV) without suspecting that these were those of Louis Vuitton! Whatever the reasons, Delon in any case said yes to Visconti opening in this year 60 – where he also triumphed in full sun by René Clément – a sumptuous collaboration with the maestro which will take him immediately to Paris on stage in Too bad she’s a whore alongside Romy Schneider who shares his life then in 1962 on the set of Cheetahwhich won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.
Alain Delon in 8 unforgettable and unsurpassable performances
A key role in the career of Annie Girardot
Whether Rocco and his brothers is a pivotal date in the career of Alain Delon, it profoundly changed the life of Annie Girardot. First as an actress of course. Because if it has been running more and more regularly since the mid-1950s (Red is put, Maigret lays a trap, The man with the golden keys…), his meeting with Visconti first enabled him to play Two on the swing under his direction in the theater opposite Jean Marais then to embody this role of young prostitute in Rocco and his brothers which will make her a star on both sides of the Alps. But it is also on this film that she meets Renato Salvatori (Delon’s rival, on screen, to obtain the heart of this prostitute). She will marry him in 1962 and will have with him his only daughter, Giulia.
Annie Girardot: two directors evoke an extraordinary actress