Ossessione | Chicago Reader

Ossessione

Luchino Visconti's first solo effort and the first great Italian neorealist film (1942, 139 min.), Ossessione has remained virtually unknown because of legalities involving the novel on which it was based (James Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice). Visconti transforms the story's sexual tensions into something almost musical. Where would neorealism and its imitators have gone if this film had reached America ahead of Rossellini's Open City, if the lyricism of Visconti's reading had set the tone for filmmaking in the 40s instead of Rossellini's bitter, misunderstood matter-of-factness? In Italian with subtitles.

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