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... See full summary »
Historical evocation of Ludwig, king of Bavaria, from his crowning in 1864 until his death in 1886, as a romantic hero. Fan of Richard Wagner, betrayed by him, in love with his cousin ... See full summary »
Venezia, spring of 1866, in the last days of the Austrian occupation. A performance of Il Trovatore ends up in confusion due to an anti-Austrian demonstration, organised by Count Ussoni. His cousin Countess Serpieri falls in love with vile Austrian Lieutenant Franz Mahler, but the times are changing. Written by
Vincent Merlaud <email@example.com>
Sweeping, operatic tragic love story scored to Bruckner
Whatever Anton Bruckner had in mind when writing his majestic Seventh Symphony, it probably wasn't as the score to a postwar Italian love story set during the Italian-Austrian conflicts of the Risorgiamento. Though the use of pre-existing classical music as backdrop for films is to be discouraged, here it works in surprising ways. Alida Valli is the Countess Livia Serpieri, in a loveless marriage to an older, collaborationist official. At the opera (Venice's La Fenice during Il Trovatore!) she meets up with a dashing young Austrian officer, Farley Granger. (Digression: After a handful of American films -- They Live by Night, Rope, Side Street, Strangers on a Train -- Granger journeyed to Italy to work with Visconti then fell off the screen for years, only to resurface in a few schlock films in the late 60s and early 70s. What happened to him?) They kindle up a clandestine and dangerous affair -- the wealthy older woman and the manipulative wastrel. After wheedling a small fortune out of her to bribe a doctor who declares him unfit to serve, he dumps her. But hell hath no fury....Luchino Visconti, assisted by the young Franco Zeffirelli -- both were opera directors, too -- pulls out all the stops, ending with a finale reminiscent of Tosca (but with a twist). Senso is a shameless and unforgettable wallow in Italianate passion -- unabashed verismo translated to the silver screen.
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