• Love it 2
(1954, d. Luchino Visconti)
starring Alida Valli and Farley Granger


Set in 1866 Venice during the period of Italian unification, the unhappily married Countess Livia Serpieri (Allida Valli) falls desperately in love with Franz Mahler (Farley Granger), a charming but dissolute officer with the Austrian occupying forces. Betraying both family and country, she becomes consumed by their affair. As war approaches, Livia is entrusted with a large sum of money meant for the Venetian resistance, but gives it to Franz so he can buy his way out of military service. Soon Livia’s passion spirals into jealousy, revenge and, ultimately, madness.

Photo courtesy: StudioCanal and Cineteca di Bologna.

From the opening scenes at a performance of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Senso unfolds with richly operatic intensity.

The extravagant beauty of Visconti’s first color film signals a distinct departure from neo-realism. With sets inspired by important Italian paintings, and costumes by legendary designers Marcel Escoffier and Piero Tosi, the production design re-creates the historical period with spectacular and accurate detail. Senso was nominated for the Venice Film Festival’s coveted Golden Lion Award, and Aldo Graziati’s stunning camerawork was awarded the Silver Ribbon for Best Cinematography by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists.
L’Immagine Ritrovata at Cineteca di Bologna performed a digital restoration of Senso’s original 3-strip Technicolor camera negatives. The film’s positive masters were also utilized, when it was discovered that the original negatives had problems such as lost frames and deep scratches that could not be digitally filled.

The key reference for color correction was a 1954 positive print as well as a print created from a photochemical restoration done in 2001. Although Senso was also photochemically restored in the late nineties, L’Immagine Ritrovata’s digital restoration addressed issues that were impossible to fix then.
The original 3-strip Technicolor camera negatives had suffered extreme shrinkage and decay, and the digital restoration process was able to properly correct and align the negatives. Digital technology was also utilized to improve frame steadiness, remove dirt, and eliminate flickering, as well as to address noise issues on the original sound negatives.

Photo courtesy: StudioCanal and Cineteca di Bologna.

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