A chronological look at the creative life of Luchino Visconti (1906-1976). It examines his theatricality, role in the neorealist movement, use of melodrama, and relation to decadence. It touches on the impact of a fabulously wealthy childhood, his writing for "Cinema," his politics, his work with Renoir, his appreciation of Thomas Mann, and his deep knowledge of literature and the arts. Visconti moves constantly between film and the theater, staging plays provocatively, working with Maria Callas at La Scala, and shooting films in theaters. Clips from his films and interviews with actors, crew members, and critics provide details for this portrait of creativity.