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The Leopard (1963)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Film historian Peter Cowie Rating:8.2/10 (4 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by zombking on January 17th, 2008:Find all reviews by zombking
While I was not an immediate fan of this film (it just runs far too long...) I can say that Cowie manages to keep the viewers interest, and his deep knowledge of the film can keep even the long running time filled with good information regarding the production history, the alternate versions of the film, as well as comparisons to the novel and motivations for the many characters in the film. Overall, a worthy commentary to a not-so-worthy film.
Reviewed by The Cubist on January 18th, 2008:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Cowie provides the backstory to Visconti’s career leading up to The Leopard and also talks at length about the film in relation to its source material. He also examines the director’s masterful compositions and how he moved away from Neorealism to an epic canvas. This is a strong, informative track that is an excellent introduction to the cinema of Visconti as well as providing solid insight into this cinematic masterpiece.
Reviewed by Agressor on November 29th, 2014:Find all reviews by Agressor
I usually like Peter Cowies commentaries, he is well rehearsed and his manner of speaking is qutie captivating.

Here though, I didn't get into it like I usually do. Part of the reason why is that I didn't really like the movie so that obviously made me less excited about the prospect of sitting through a 3 hour commentary about it. But apart from that I found his contribution here to be subpar. There are several instances where he just narrates what's happening in the scene, I understand that he is impressed with Viscontis mise en scène and feels obliged to convey that to us but it felt a bit superfluous. There are also an uncomfortable amount of silent pauses here.

It's not a complete waste however, there are many instances where symbolical meanings are explained and we get some historical perspective that I imagine would be of great interest to those who really likes the film. This is also true of the parts where Cowie delves into certain scenes and clarifies them as there several scenes that are quite "dense" with many things happening at once. There is a lot of speculation going on here however.