In 1940 Renoir was invited by Mussolini to make a film at the Centro Sperimentale. Visconti, by then his assistant, returned to Italy to work on Renoir's versio of Tosca. He'd gone to Paris a dilettante, a ladies' man and Fascist. He returned a film-maker, a bisexual moving towards full homosexuality but also, more improbably than either of these, given his heritage, a convinced Communist.
It would be hard to think of two men with less in common than Fellini and Visconti, and until the latter's death their rivalry, nourished by acolytes, would flourish. For all his success, Fellini never earned the respect Visconti accepted as his right.
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Webpage created 10 July 2005. Last modified 10 July 2005.
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