Luchino Visconti may be known in some cinephile circles as the director of “Death in Venice” and “The Leopard,” but he also directed the moving, operatic “Rocco and his Brothers,” a sort of post-script to Italian neorealism that cast its eye on a family of immigrants striving to prosper and assimilate in a new city.
Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, well known for its tireless preservation of neorealist films (in addition to a host of others), has recently restored Visconti’s masterful film with the help of Cineteca di Bologna. The newly restored version — complete with two scenes that were previously censored for content — screened at Cannes this past spring and will play at this year’s TIFF as part of the fest’s Cinematheque lineup.
It’s hard to dispute that the new image looks great. It’s crisper, with a higher resolution that intensifies the emotional impact of the film on a whole. Whether it’s what Visconti would have wanted remains anyone’s guess. But as another one of the Film Foundation’s noble efforts to rescue and restore classic films that might otherwise be discarded, the work on display here is exemplary.
Watch below, and let’s hope a theatrical run will follow.