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Vaghe stelle dell’Orsa | Luchino Visconti, 1965
Italy | Italian with English subtitles | 105 minutes
Shady family secrets, incestuous sibling bonds, descents into madness, decades-old conspiracies: with Sandra, Luchino Visconti traded The Leopard’s elegiac grandeur for something grittier and pulpier: the Electra myth in the form of a gothic melodrama. Claudia Cardinale’s title character returns to her ancestral home in Tuscany and has an unexpected encounter with her long-lost brother and a reckoning with her family’s dark wartime past. Shooting in a decaying mansion set amid a landscape of ruins, Visconti found a new idiom for the great theme of his late career: the slow death of an aristocracy rooted in classical ideals but long since hollowed out by decadence and corruption. Restored by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee (ASAC).