On Thursday, 13 June the Natolin Historical Film Club closed its current season with the screening of Luchino VISCONTI’s masterpiece The Leopard (Il Gattopardo, 1963). As part of his customary opening remarks, Professor Richard BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI offered an introduction to the violent and dramatic developments of the Risorgimento: the process of the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century. With this context students were able to follow the story of Don Fabrizio CORBERA, the Prince of Salina in Sicily (also known as The Leopard), and his family.
The movie is based upon Giuseppe TOMASI DI LAMPEDUSA’s historical novel of the same title, published in 1958, and considered to be one of the greatest of its genre. The plot is a profound study of the gradual and painful deterioration of the Sicilian aristocracy in this era, as it desperately attempted to adapt to the new political and social reality. The image is even more piercing thanks to the unforgettable roles of Burt LANCASTER, Claudia CARDINALE and Alain DELON. As always, the audience had the chance to informally discuss their impressions and thoughts with Professor BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI, Mr Jakub KUBICA and one another over a cup of coffee.
The Natolin Historical Film Club will be back for the next academic year, offering students a fine selection of masterpieces of European cinematography and often a chance to meet the movies’ directors and actors. Stay tuned!