a long sleep
by Douglas Messerli
Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Enrico Medioli, Massimo Franciosa, and Luchino Visconti (screenplay and adaptation, based on the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa), Luchino Visconti (director) Il gattopardo (The Leopard) / 1963
Winner of the 1963 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, The Leopard is certainly one of the most visually beautiful films ever produced. Visconti's Technicolor evocation of Risorgimento Sicily is perhaps the most cohesive and convincing aspect of this almost languid epic, a vision that easily attracts one to the film again and again. The very beauty with which the director evokes the falling nobility of this lost world is, in part, the subject of the book and film narrative, revealing what is being lost far better than the Prince at the center of this work, Don Fabrizio Salina (Burt Lancaster), could ever express it.
Or as he puts it at another time:
Indeed it is Fabrizio's sense of inevitability tied up with his noblesse oblige that both protects his family and dooms it to destruction.