Don Giovanni

Film, Drama

Time Out says

Losey's Don Giovanni is a social study out of Brecht, who once argued: 'We find the glamour of this parasite less interesting than the parasitic aspects of his glamour'. As the orchestra strikes up the Overture, the Don is touring his glass factory, suspended on a single plank above the fires which will finally consume him. Here labour vies with leisure, license with liberty, in a production mindful of Mozart's (and Sade's) era: the opera antedated the French Revolution by a mere two years. Filmed largely in formal long shot against Palladian Vicenza, Losey's cinematic version is a conscious attempt to 'make the unreal tangible'. Mostly - despite the odd Zeffirelli-ism and occasional 'motivation' - it succeeds. Appropriately histrionic performances from an excellent opera cast (notably Raimondi's vampiric Don and Kiri Te Kanawa's hysterical harlequin Elvira) and a very vocal mix which displeases record reviewers, but clarifies the libretto, combine with autumnal colours out of Masaccio and Giorgione to map the declining empire of the ancien regime.

By: MM


Release details

176 mins

Cast and crew

Joseph Losey
Patricia Losey, Joseph Losey, Frantz Salieri
José van Dam
Edda Moser
John Macurdy
Kiri Te Kanawa
Kenneth Riegel
Ruggero Raimondi
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