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 »
Retired professor of American origin lives solitary life in luxurious palazzo in Rome He is confronted by vulgar Italian marchesa and her companions: her lover, her daughter and daughter's ... See full summary »
In an atmosphere of political tension when the French still control Algiers, an Algerian is killed on the beach and a French man who has lived in Algiers all his life is arrested for the ... See full summary »
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. Written by
Eric Wees <email@example.com>
(at around 1h 13 mins) Tadzio plays Beethoven's "Für Elise" in the hotel lounge but his fingers are in the very top range of the piano, some two or three octaves higher than the sound we actually hear. See more »
Gustav von Aschenbach:
You know sometimes I think that artists are rather like hunters aiming in the dark. They don't know what their target is, and they don't know if they've hit it. But you can't expect life to illuminate the target and steady your aim. The creation of beauty and purity is a spiritual act.
Non Gustav, no. Beauty belongs to the senses. Only to the senses.
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I first saw "Death in Venice" when it was initially released in 1971. Today, I saw it again (by chance!) while I was channel-surfing. It had the same hypnotic effect on me that it had then. To wit: I sat down, vacuum cleaner in hand, and remained there. In 1971, at age 21, I recognized the film's poignancy but not in the way I was able to now, at age 56. Yes, it's slow-moving and not very much "happens". But its beauty, especially the wonderful close-ups and the use of Mahler's music, endures. Those familiar with Thomas Mann's novella of the same name,and other of his works (e.g., The Magic Mountain) will recall that nothing much "happens" in these stories, either. However, these classics (both in print and film) are apt to remain with us long after the latest special effects action film has disappeared.
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