Above: French poster for Ossessione (1943). Artist: Boris Grinsson.
To commemorate the complete retrospective of the films of Luchino Visconti starting today at New York's Film Society of Lincoln Center
, I decided to choose my favorite poster for each film in Visconti’s titanic body of work (including the three portmanteau films to which he contributed episodes). For many of his films the range of posters are an embarrassment of riches ranging from tempestuous Italian romanticism and beautifully executed French realism to stark German stylization and wry Polish surrealism. Although I think that Italian romanticism certainly suits Visconti best of all in terms of really representing his work—Averardo Ciriello’s stirring portrait of storm-lashed fishermen for La terra trema
being a case in point—it is the more gnomic Polish films that I seem to have gravitated to most. There are eight Polish posters here and what is remarkable is that each one is by a different Polish artist: Borowy, Hibner, Krajewski, Swierzy, Gorka, Ihnatowicz, Flisak and Klimowski are all represented here. I also very much like a few of Visconti’s American posters: for Sandra
, The Stranger
, all with their lurid taglines (“What Sandra does...is astonishing.”)
Visconti’s oeuvre is presented in chronological order from 1943’s Ossessione (above) through to his final film, 1976’s The Innocent. Feel free to disagree with any of my choices and link to your own favorites in the comments below.
Above: Italian 4-fogli for La terra trema (1948). Artist: Averardo Ciriello.
Above: 1976 German poster for Bellissima (1951). Design by Hans Hillmann.
Above: 1957 Polish poster for We, the Women (1953). Design by Piotr Borowy.
Above: Italian 4-fogli for Senso (1954). Artist: Renato Fratini.
Above: 1958 German poster for White Nights (1957). Artist: Boris Streimann.
Above: 1962 Polish poster for Rocco and His Brothers (1960). Design by Maciej Hibner.
Above: 1966 Polish poster Boccaccio ’70 (1962). Design by Andrzej Krajewski.
Above: 1963 Polish poster for The Leopard (1963). Design by Waldemar Swierzy.
Above: US half-sheet for Sandra (1965). Designer uncredited.
Above: French grande for The Witches (1967). Design by Jouineau Bourduge.
Above: US one sheet for The Stranger (1967). Designer uncredited.
Above: 1971 Polish poster for The Damned (1969). Design by Wiktor Gorka.
Above: 1973 Polish poster for Death in Venice (1971). Design by Maria Ihnatowicz.
Above: US one sheet for Ludwig (1972). Designer uncredited.
Above: 1976 Polish poster for Conversation Piece (1974). Design by Jerzy Flisak.
Above: 1977 Polish poster for The Innocent (1976). Design by Andrzej Klimowski.