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 is the adaptation of Mann’s famous novel. But Visconti pulled his own twist with slightly older Tadgio and Mahler’s No. 5 played by National Academy Orchestra of Sainta Cecilia under conducter of Franco Mannino. Rendition of the music is quite exquisite-nostalgic, melancholic and heart breakingly beautiful with swift change of tempo.
The slow paced fluid camera work synchronized miraculously with No. 5 and waving water in the canal or slowly dieing Achenbach and Venice.
The music here also has transporting quality like fusitive water in canal in Labyrinth of the city, fusitive vision of a beautiful boy or motherly calling from the womb, enticing you into the bosom of death. I remember Visconti talked about this movie like “put your eyes on the absolute beauty is put your eyes on death”.
As I grow older I see suffering of Visconti/Aschenbach more and more like your physical ability and health went down hill, all your loved ones passed, once glorious of your talent came to the point that no longer could connect with the younger generation, you came to doubt your work ethic, your philosophy might not work anymore. So why not indulge youself into the fantasy of grandiose in death in the arms of your sensual angel of death.
It’s truelly miraculous that Visconti could create such a master piece from his own torment.
The movie has something perfect for me.