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Luchino Visconti | 1971 | 130 MINS
Italy / France

English, Italian, French...

While recovering in Venice, sickly composer Gustav von Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde) becomes dangerously fixated with teenager Tadzio.

In Detail

Based on the classic novella by Thomas Mann, this late-career masterpiece from Luchino Visconti (The Leopard) is a meditation on the nature of art, the allure of beauty, and the inescapability of death. A fastidious composer reeling from a disastrous concert, Gustav von Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde, in an exquisitely nuanced performance) travels to Venice to recover.

There, he is struck by a vision of pure beauty in the form of a young boy (Björn Andresen), his infatuation developing into an obsession even as rumours of a plague spread through the city. Setting Mann’s story of queer desire and bodily decay against the sublime music of Gustav Mahler, ‘Death in Venice’ is one of cinema’s most exalted literary adaptations, as sensually rich as it is allegorically resonant. Presented in a digitally restored print.

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