Rocco and His Brothers (Masters of Cinema) DVD
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Directed by Luchino Visconti
Produced in 1960
Main Language - Italian with English subtitles
Massively popular on first release and a firm favourite even today, Luchino Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers is an audacious blend of realism and melodrama.
There is realism at ground level in the observation and recreation of physical environments and realism of a more aspiring kind in the social analysis. But as the story develops so both the situation and the way it is played acquire a more and more melodramatic – indeed operatic – tone.
A family migrates from impoverished southern Italy to the relative prosperity of Milan. Regular work is short but for two of the brothers boxing looks like providing a ladder to success. Success, however, does not come easy, nor do the boys brought up in a rural, feudal environment find it easy to adapt to more modern values.
The film is structured like one of the romantic symphonies Visconti loved so much. It climaxes dramatically with rape, murder, treachery and the destruction of the family and its values. But there is then a subdued ending in which a possible new order is affirmed.
Visconti's epic study of family, sex, and betrayal. Alongside Fellini's La Dolce Vita and Antonioni's L'Avventura, Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers ushered Italian cinema into a new era, one unafraid to confront head-on the hypocrisies of the ruling class, the squalor in urban living, and the collision between generations.
A tight-knit family moves from Italy's rural south to metropolitan Milan. The shock of the new is violent and immediate. A mother meddles, a whore beguiles, brother faces brother and blood-ties come undone. We pity beatific Rocco (played by the immortal Alain Delon in one of his greatest roles) and Nadia the harlot (Annie Girardot, capricious and scintillating) as the modern condition shatters their lives.
An acknowledged influence on Coppola's The Godfather series (Nino Rota's exquisite Rocco score for Visconti led to working on The Godfather), Scorsese's Raging Bull, and many others, Rocco and His Brothers is one of Visconti's most revered films, here presented newly restored to its original three-hour form.
Publisher: Eureka / Masters of Cinema
Length: 170 mins
Cat No: EKA40257
Format: DVD B&W
- 2 discs. New anamorphic restoration of the film in its fully uncut original 3-hour Italian release version
- New and improved English subtitles
- Three hours of extras, including newsreels from 1960
- lengthy interviews with cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno, and stars of the film Annie Girardot and Claudia Cardinale
- Original Italian trailer
- Two documentaries - TF1's Les Coulisses du tournage, and RAI's hour-long 'Luchino Visconti'
- 40-page booklet featuring archival imagery, articles by Luchino Visconti ("The Miracle That Gave Man Crumbs") and respected Italian film critic Guido Aristarco ("The Earth Still Trembles"), and a rare interview with Visconti ("Questions for the Author") translated into English for the first time.
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