Cinema: Hues and Cries

LA GRANDE BOURGEOISE Directed by Mauro Bolognini Screenplay by Sergio Bazzini

What a difference color can make. In this lush, slightly feverish Italian drama, the color photography is not merely the medium, it is a potent metaphor. In scene after scene, Cinematographer Ennio Guarnier frames the setting—turn-of-the-century Bologna and Venice—in rich, painterly soft focus, but his colors are so intense that they almost seem to burn the film. Similarly, the leading characters—an eminent if controversial scientist and socialist, his beautiful daughter who is suffocating in a bourgeois marriage, his erratic lawyer-son who is so devoted to his trapped sister that he...

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