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Visconti’s Operatic Autopsy of German History, Restored Anew

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The revered Italian director Luchino Visconti was openly gay yet devoutly Catholic, ostensibly Communist yet unyieldingly aristocratic.

In short, he embodied contradictions that haunt many of his films, in which criticism can sometimes be confused with reverence, or obsessive detail with tasteless excess.

Nowhere is this more evident, to sometimes frustrating and other times awe-inspiring effect, than in his so-called German trilogy of “The Damned” (1969), “Death in Venice” (1971) and “Ludwig” (1973).

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