Visconti's endless fascination with the lives of those who walk against the winds of history finds sumptuous expression in Senso when a self-possessed Venetian countess who supports the fight against the Austrians falls madly in love with a soldier from the occupying army. The conflict between her heart and her head is echoed on a soundtrack also at odds between the music of Austrian late-romantic composer Anton Bruckner and Giuseppe Verdi who was indelibly associated with the Risorgimento. Shooting in color for the first time, Visconti signaled a decisive move away from neorealism, painstakingly crafting the sensual, decadent atmosphere surrounding the illicit lovers against the cold, gray dawn both must face. – DP
The Capture of Rome (La presa di Roma)Directed by Filoteo Alberini.
Italy, 1905, 35mm, black & white, silent, 6 min.
Italian intertitles with English subtitles.
Print source: Cineteca Nazionale
Filoteo Alberini's depiction of the entry into Rome by the Italian army – marking the unification of the central peninsula – is the first major historical film in Italian cinema. Of the original fifteen-minute length, only a few fragments survive.