Death in Venice

Death in Venice

Streaming Video - 1971
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While recuperating in a luxurious hotel in Venice, a famous composer, now becoming aware of his passing years, struggles with his attraction to a golden-haired boy . . . an attraction that he realizes will lead to his destruction.


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Mar 11, 2015

I wouldn't say this movie is slow, but. . .I thought I had something for this. The great Italian director Luchino Visconti adapts Thomas Mann's famous novella with English actor Dirk Bogarde (who was also in Visconti's "The Damned") as Aschenbach, an aging composer pining for a young, beautiful Polish boy (Swedish actor Bjorn Andersen). Because it's Visconti, it's a sumptuous production, but it's also, per the title, a lifeless one, with no spark or spontaneity. I can't decide if Bogarde is giving a terrible performance or if he's brilliantly playing a rather pathetic, unlikable character. He spends most of the film looking sickly and despondent. He based him loosely on Mahler, whose music is prominently featured. The flashbacks are more distracting than illuminating. It is lovely to look at, but represents the dead end of Visconti's style. Released in 1971, it won a special award at Cannes. It's often grouped with "The Damend" and "Ludwig" as Visconti's "German Trilogy."

Aug 15, 2012

Visconti suffuses his masterpiece with all the colors and textures of Monet, Renoir, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, and a host of other Impressionists, and settles them all upon, nearly inevitably, the splendours of a Canaletto Venice, Dirk Bogarde has never been better, his von Aschenbach is definitive, Silvana Mangano is every single inch an aristocrat, the epitome of poise, elegance and propriety, Tadzio is throughout the very incarnation of a Botticelli, all is given stately motion by the art of film and made thereby into another equal and haunting form of poetry

jmmason Mar 12, 2012

This 1971 release of the movie classic based on a Thomas Mann novella was directed by the great Italian film maker Luchino Visconti. It stars Dirk Bogard as an aesthete German composer (the music herein is by Mahler) on holiday in Venice where he becomes fixated on a Polish boy staying in the same hotel. The "action" of the story occurs in Ashenbach's head; there is next to no dialogue. It is strongly suggested that the viewer dip into the short novel before seeing the movie. It will be more rewarding with that knowledge aforehand. My only reservation with this masterpiece is in the casting of Bjorn Andresen as the boy, Tadzio, who could use a jolt of testosterone. He would not have been on my short list as a desired object. Still, Bogard is supberb. This is the most lavish film ever made about homosexual longing.


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