In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period of artistic and personal stress. But he finds no peace there, for he soon develops a troubling attraction to an adolescent boy, Tadzio, on vacation with his family. The boy embodies an ideal of beauty that Aschenbach has long sought and he becomes infatuated. However, the onset of a deadly pestilence threatens them both physically and represents the corruption that compromises and threatens all ideals. —IMDb
As Martin Scorsese notes in My Voyage to Italy, no 20th Century film-maker can lay claim to the unique disposition of Count Don Luchino Visconti di Modrone, the final heir to one of Europe’s oldest aristocratic families. For much of his youth, Visconti exulted in the privileges of his lifestyle. His house was a frequent retreat for the likes of Arturo Toscanini, Gabrielle d’Annunzio and Giacomo Puccini. His lifelong engagement in theatre and opera was imbibed from an early age along with brief passions such as raising horses and maintaining stables. It wasn’t long before Visconti began questioning the limitations of his lifestyle. Inspired by his intellectual yearnings, Visconti wandered away from his comfortable shelter and visited Paris. This would be a turning point in his life. Through his friendship with Coco Chanel, Visconti met French director Jean Renoir. He served as assistant director on some of Renoir’s best films from the 30s, including Toni, Partie de campagne and The Lower… read more
The desperate search for abstract beauty in real life, which can only lead to failure and disappointment. An instance of this search is shown in this movie, using - respectfully - the controversial choice of the love of a middle aged man for a minor aged boy, without it being sexual of course. Also I would like to mention the incredible end scene of this film, which will be imprinted in my mind for some time.
It's probably already been commented upon, but the way he keeps the camera so often at a distance from the cast—taking stock, in sometimes extreme long shot, of their experiences—it can't help but be a case of him applying assured technique and skill to better focus the thematic concerns of the film (alienation, emotional and spiritual distance, self-loathing, etc.). A quiet, enthralling, doom-laden film.
Luchino Visconti’s masterpiece is an adaptation of the famous novel by Thomas Mann. The story concerns a 19th century Viennese composer Gustave Aschenbach, apparently based on Gustav Mahler, who travels… read review
Morte a Venezia (1971), Luchino Visconti’s lugubrious adaptation of the novella by Thomas Mann, features Gustav von Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde), of a distinctly Apollonian nature, who… read review
When I watched this as a kid the movie was a beautiful mistery. Along with the time I’ve been discovering about what it tells in full extent, maybe I’m still in the mid of the way.
Of course this… read review