Cinema: Electro in Tuscany

Sandra. "These shadows . . . the sifting of ashes of a dead past." Thus whisper the winds of melancholy around a decaying palazzo in the Tuscan town of Volterra, where Director Luchino Visconti (Rocco and His Brothers, The Leopard) installs Claudia Cardinale as resident tragedienne. In Visconti's modern variations on the Electra theme, Claudia struggles with a role that requires her, at times, to slip off the mantle of Greek tragedy and slip into something like a bath towel.

Married to a pipe-smoking, cameratoting American (Michael Craig), Claudia returns home after many years to witness the unveiling of a memorial to...

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