SANDRA (1965) - Old Movie Cinema
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With Claudia Cardinale, Jean Sorel, Michael Craig and Renzo Ricci. Directed by Luchino Visconti. Based on the Elektra myth. In English. The vast yet stifling, luxurious yet menacing confines of a rural Italian villa provide the stagelike setting for this frenzied family drama by Luchino Visconti, from 1965. The story involves a newlywed couple—Sandra (Claudia Cardinale), a smoldering young heiress, and her bluff American husband, Andrew (Michael Craig)—who met and married in Geneva. Visconti films their nuptial trip by sports car, from Switzerland to her estate in Volterra, with the kinetic thrill of a chase; but what Sandra is fleeing, it turns out, is the past—into which, nonetheless, she leaps again, with a tragic obsession. The couple had been working on an investigation of Auschwitz, where Sandra`s father, a Jewish scientist, was killed; a ceremony in his memory is the proximate cause of her return home. There`s also the matter of her brother, Gianni (Jean Sorel), a lacerating playboy with literary ambitions, whose novel is a tale of brother-sister incest. With its hard edges and dark shadows, crashing zooms and feline rages, Visconti`s tale is, in effect, a work of gothic modernism, in which history replaces mythology and madness evokes the spurned enlightenment of psychotherapy. - Richard Brody, The New Yorker www.newyorker.com/arts/reviews...