The Leopard: settings
in Cinema – Italy
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Fifteen years after La terra trema, Luchino Visconti had set another film in Sicily, Il Gattopardo/The Leopard (1963). In this film he shifted the point of view from the lower class and current events of La terra trema to the nobility, and the great historical events of the Risorgimento. The narrative of the film is embedded in externals, in a dazzling world of appearances. Visconti, in creating his characters, often resorted to a stylization of external traits used to mirror inner ones. He worked on shaping appearances, giving characters the same polished unyielding nature as objects have and thereby establishing an accord between men and things. There were two centres around which the set design of Il Gattopardo revolved. One was Visconti's legendary taste for the real as opposed to facsimiles of it. The other, no less fundamental, was the excessiveness of his mise en scène.

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