Death In Venice (1971) Film Review A-

Death in Venice
DIRECTOR: Luchino Visconi
BOTTOM LINE:  After “The Damned,” director Luchino Visconti and actor Dirk Bogarde collaborated on adapting the Thomas Mann 1912 novella “Death in Venice.” The result is a gorgeous, if somewhat slow-moving, tour de force. Visconti’s (and co-writer Nicola Badalucco) brilliant idea was changing the leading character, Gustav von Aschenbach’s profession, from a writer to a composer, thus opening up the movie to the magnificent Gustav Mahler Adagietto from his Symphony No.5. Aschenbach has come to Venice to recover from personal and artistic stresses. Instead, overtaken by an unrequited passion for an unattainable boy, he courts death by failing to heed warnings about the cholera epidemic sweeping the city. Tadzio, the composer’s object of beauty, was presented to the world after a massive Visconti-lead talent search. The actor’s name is Bjorn Andresen, who, contrary to general opinion, did NOT vanish from the face of the Earth after the movie was completed. He was recently seen, to great effect, in Ari Aster’s “Midsommar”.


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