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Burt Lancaster at the Bridgeway Cinema

Monday November 15, 2004

THE LEOPARD a feature film by Luchino Visconti

(Rating: PG contains violence)

Burt Lancaster at the Bridgeway Cinema

Classic Pictures Corporation presents a fully restored feature film of Luchino Visconti's 1963 historical drama THE LEOPARD, which will open exclusively at the Bridgeway Cinema, Queen St, Northcote Point, on Saturday November 20.

Recognised as one of the most beautiful, detailed and sumptuous epics ever produced THE LEOPARD was awarded the supreme Palme d'Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival.

THE LEOPARD translates a best selling novella written by Giuseppe Tomassi di Lampedusa, (an Italian equivalent to Gone with the Wind), set during the tumultuous Garibaldi revolution of 1860-62. The history it recounts into a truly cinematic masterpiece, brings to life the authenticity and opulence of the era - architecture and aesthetic beauty from opulent Italian palazzos and exquisite costuming to the authentic scenic locations.

Visconti was initially reluctant to cast Burt Lancaster as the melancholy Prince of Salina--the aging aristocrat "leopard" of the title--who accepts change as inevitable during the struggle for a unified Italy. But Lancaster, who learnt Italian for the role, delivered one of his finest performances, modelled after Visconti himself, and reacting to political and familial upheavals with the wit and wisdom of a man who knows that his way of life--and all he holds dear--must change with the times.

THE LEOPARD is an epic canvas presented on the grandest possible scale. The film recreates, with nostalgia, the tumultuous years when the aristocracy fell from grace and the middle class revolt to form a more democratic Italy.

Caught up in this class revolution is an affluent family led by the Prince of Salina, Don Fabrizio Corbera (Burt Lancaster). He recognizes that he is part of an obsolete generation and that his young nephew, Tancredi Falconeri (Alain Delon), and his beautiful fiancée, the beguiling Angelica Sedara (Claudia Cardinale), represent the new order.

“You won't find a more intimate epic, and Giusseppe Rotunno's masterful cinematography represents the pinnacle of painterly beauty, matched only by the authentic splendour of the film's impeccable production design. The climactic hour-long ballroom scene--which even the hard-to-please Pauline Kael (the late ‘queen of the critics’), called "one of the greatest of all passages in movies" - is utterly breathtaking. Anchored by Lancaster's performance and the romantic pairing of Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale, THE LEOPARD is sheer perfection, fully restored to its 185-minute glory”. --Jeff Shannon

THE LEOPARD (In Italian with English subtitles)

Rating: PG (contains violence)

Where: Exclusively at the Bridgeway Cinema

Season: From Saturday November 20, 2004

Running Time: 185 minutes


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