The journeys in Italy

of Donald Sutherland




In two exceptional films where Venice plays a role: Don’t Look Now by Nicolas Roeg (1973) and Fellini’s Casanova (1976), Donald Sutherland incarnates two monumental male figures with effortless mastery.

Don’t Look Now and Casanova have continually conversed and corresponded with each other. Both are threatening, sensorial films, whose protagonists first face ominous weather: a cold, deathlike rain or a whipping wind. In the face of personal misfortune for John, an architect who has just lost a child; or collective adversity for Casanova, rejected by polite society, these characters are educated, endowed with great self-insight, able to theorize the touching differences between women and men calmly and intelligently.


CASANOVA 1976 Visuel


Dressed or naked, they are inventive and elegant. Indifferent to superstition, they never want to dominate. And when extraordinary circumstances dictate it, they agree to flee. Also, it required at least the old mythical Italy; Venice, a matrix of marshes and troubled waters where "everything is rotten" according to John (he is tasked with saving the sinking city), in order to accommodate such personalities. Donald Sutherland, with his imposing physique and spectacular face, has the necessary stature to resist all that lies behind these two films, where the haze and the fantastic are everywhere. Tracked in the hollow of a prodigious backdrop, there is no chance that these men of destiny will give up.

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