Directed by Luchino Visconti. With Alida Valli, Farley Granger,
Italy 1954, 35mm, color, 115 min. Italian with English subtitles
Visconti's endless fascination with the lives of those who walk against the winds of history finds sumptuous expression in Senso when a self-possessed Venetian countess who supports the fight against the Austrians falls madly in love with a soldier from the occupying army. The conflict between her heart and her head is echoed on a soundtrack also at odds between the music of Austrian late-romantic composer Anton Bruckner and Giuseppe Verdi who was indelibly associated with the Risorgimento. Shooting in color for the first time, Visconti signaled a decisive move away from neorealism, painstakingly crafting the sensual, decadent atmosphere surrounding the illicit lovers against the cold, gray dawn both must face. Print restored by the Cineteca di Bologna with funding from the Film Foundation.