Luchino Visconti Pauline Kael - Essay

Pauline Kael

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Although [Conversation Piece] takes place entirely in the interior of a Roman house, one doesn't feel confined: Konrad and the Countess are such depraved beasties that when they start screaming insults at each other, who care about whether there's sun outdoors? (p. 35)

The story mechanism is much like that of those old Kind Lady plays in which a gang of schemers moves in on a helpless person, but this troupe has no ulterior motive. These intruders simply use the Professor the way they use everybody, and he's more than willing to be used. It is the theme of Visconti's Death in Venice all over again…. It's a winning movie—Visconti has come back changed. When you laugh, you...

(The entire section is 835 words.)