No Spots on this Celluloid

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Published May 10, 2010

As the Cannes Film Festival unrolls its red carpet and readies the flash bulbs, one of the most anticipated film screenings is one none of the stars will attend. And it’s not because of the Italian Cultural minister’s protest that a movie about Prime Minister Berlusconi is slanderous; the Italian contingent in the Mediterranean resort village is pretty much unfazed. Nearly forty years after it won the Palme D’Or, Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) is returning to Cannes. Restored thanks to Gucci’s partnership with the Martin Scorsese The Film Foundation, Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard stars film legends Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale and chronicles the life of Prince Fabrizio Salina and his family’s struggles during Italy’s prolonged Nineteenth Century unification. Spanning years of war and strife, the film runs an epic 207 minutes with a pivotal scene at a gala running for a full 51 minutes. The film has been called the Italian Gone with the Wind, but it’s celluloid resurrection, Il Gattopardo is here to stay. LEFT: IMAGE COURTESY TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX AND PATHE