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The Leopard (Il Gattopardo)
"A very rare opportunity"
Dir. Luchino Visconti; writ. Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa (novel), Suso Cecchi d'Amico; feat. Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon (Unrated)
It's not uncommon for us at the Current to get on a soap box in this "Special Screens" section, urging our readers to come out of their nests to see a movie that simply demands a big screen instead of a cathode ray tube. This week, we replace our usual high-horse attitude with a tone of near desperation, and advise our serious cinephile readership: Clear your calendar Tuesday night and go see TPR's screening of The Leopard.

It's not because we've seen it and insist that your life isn't complete without it. To tell the truth, this writer hasn't yet seen the film, and the reason for that is the reason we're urging you to go. The Leopard isn't available on any home video format, and there's no indication that this is going to change in the near future. What's more, during the film's initial U.S. release, it was truncated and re-processed by its distributor. Not until 20 years after its release was a restored version made available for theatrical distribution.

One of the key figures in the post-WWII Italian neorealist movement, Luchino Visconti had left that style behind by 1963, when he released this tale of an aristocratic Sicilian family dealing with the rise of the middle class. Visconti himself was an aristocrat with Marxist leanings, so he brings his own experiences and leanings to Di Lampedusa's famous novel. In an odd move for an Italian film, he cast American star Burt Lancaster in the leading role; by all accounts, this is one of Lancaster's finest performances. Go see for yourself.

The Leopard
Tuesday, August 27
$10 members, $12 non-members
AMC Huebner Oaks

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