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Terra trema
     

La Terra trema

Cast: Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli

 

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Luchino Visconti's pseudo-documentary look at the exploitation of Sicilian fishermen was based on Giovanni Verga's 1881 novel I Malavoglia. The townspeople of Aci Trezza, Sicily, portrayed themselves, speaking in their native dialects and fretting about economic hardship for over 160 minutes of screen time. As nobly neorealist as such an endeavor must have

Overview

Luchino Visconti's pseudo-documentary look at the exploitation of Sicilian fishermen was based on Giovanni Verga's 1881 novel I Malavoglia. The townspeople of Aci Trezza, Sicily, portrayed themselves, speaking in their native dialects and fretting about economic hardship for over 160 minutes of screen time. As nobly neorealist as such an endeavor must have seemed, it died at the box office upon initial release, leading Visconti to add narration in standard Italian. The truth is that the film wasn't all that realistic to begin with, as Visconti's unshakable attachment to cinematic artifice led him to pretty up the dreary goings-on with camera virtuosity that seems completely misplaced given the events onscreen. More grueling than illuminating, this film was the first of a proposed trilogy (the remaining films were to deal with Sicilian peasants and miners) that Visconti mercifully never got around to making.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Luchino Visconti intended La Terra Trema (1948) to be the first of a never-completed neo-realist trilogy about fishermen, peasants, and miners uniting against economic exploitation. Shooting entirely on location in the Sicilian fishing town of Aci Trezza, Visconti used only town residents, speaking in Sicilian dialect, to depict the struggle of the Valastro fishing family against nefarious wholesalers. Though the story of the Valastros' downfall is carefully structured, Visconti consulted with the residents about how they might respond to these events, allowing him to incorporate the flavor of poverty-stricken village life in its fear, ritualization, and flashes of kindness. Visconti's magnificently composed camera work, however, lends a near-mythic sheen to the events. Finding beauty as well as hardship in the punishing landscape, his deep-focus long takes and stately pans communicate the stoic strength to survive, as well as the Valastros' ostracism and family disintegration. La Terra Trema flopped in Italy, even with cuts to its 160-minute length and voiceover narration added for clarity, and it was not seen in its full length internationally until 1965.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/13/2012
UPC:
0741952684497
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
NR
Source:
Momentum
Time:
2:40:00
Sales rank:
60,530

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Terra Trema
1. Scene 1 [11:51]
2. Scene 2 [12:21]
3. Scene 3 [10:47]
4. Scene 4 [9:12]
5. Scene 5 [6:30]
6. Scene 6 [10:59]
7. Scene 7 [10:46]
8. Scene 8 [8:23]
9. Scene 9 [12:30]
10. Scene 10 [15:53]
11. Scene 11 [8:19]
12. Scene 12 [11:32]
13. Scene 13 [8:33]
14. Scene 14 [7:21]
15. Scene 15 [14:03]
16. Scene 16 [:49]

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