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Visconti’s ‘Death in Venice’ Revisited

I caught the American Cinematheque’s 4K restoration of Visconti’s ‘Death in Venice’ this past week, my second of the Visconti Retrospective that just wrapped.

The American Cinematheque’s moderator explained that Visconti used Mahler’s 5th and 3rd Symphonies because, in fact, Death in Venice was said to be about Gustave Mahler himself. I was surprised to hear this because when I read the book I thought it was more about Thomas Mann than Mahler, as it was about a famous pre-World War I author, Gustav von Aschenbach, making a trip to Venice in the hope of overcoming writer’s block.

And until the American Cinematheque’s screening, no one told me anything about it being about Mahler. Though I had seen the film when it came out in 1971, I thought it starred Burt Lancaster so I was surprised again to see that it starred Dirk Bogarde, who
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

‘Death in Venice’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Björn Andrésen, Marisa Berenson, Mark Burns, Silvana Mangano | Written by Nicola Badalucco, Luchino Visconti | Directed by Luchino Visconti

Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella Der Tod in Venedig focused on a German writer named Gustav von Aschenbach, who decides to take a holiday to Venice, where he falls in love. The greatest change in Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film adaptation, Death in Venice, is the fact that Gustav (Dirk Bogarde) is instead a composer. The troubling scenario concerning the main character’s paedophilic intentions remains, and is perhaps intensified in this, the best-regarded screen adaptation.

Through flashbacks we learn that Gustav has come to Venice to recover from an illness, possibly brought about by the death of his young daughter. His wife (Marisa Berenson) will not be joining him. Gustav enters a world of aged, crumbling architecture, bathed in a light that always seems to be dwindling – a reflection of
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Death in Venice

High class Italo filmmaking slips into the ’70s with Luchino Visconti still on top. This handsomely appointed period drama recreates Venice of 1910. Make that a highly stylized recreated Venice. As curiously enacted by Dirk Bogarde, Thomas Mann’s story of a composer’s inner turmoil over a maddeningly attractive teenaged boy becomes a one-man ordeal.

Death in Venice

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 962

1971 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 131 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date February 25, 2019 / 39.95

Starring: Dirk Bogarde, Romolo Valli, Mark Burns, Nora Ricci, Marisa Berenson,

Carole André, Björn Andrésen, Silvana Mangano.

Cinematography: Pasquale De Santis

Costume Designer: Piero Tosi

Art Direction: Ferdinando Scarfiotti

Music selections: Gustav Mahler, Beethoven, Mussorgsky

Film Editor: Ruggero Mastroianni

Written by Luchino Visconti, Nicola Badalucco from the novel by Thomas Mann

Produced by Robert Gordon Edwards, Mario Gallo, Luchino Visconti

Directed by Luchino Visconti

See Venice and die… or isn’t it supposed to be ‘see Rome and die?
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Muriel Pavlow obituary

Stage and screen actor who starred in Malta Story, Reach for the Sky and Doctor at Large

Although her father was a Russian émigré and her mother was Swiss-French, Muriel Pavlow, who has died aged 97, will be remembered as a quintessential British heroine on stage and screen. This meant being well spoken and standing by her man through thick and thin, particularly in the staid England of the 1950s. Not only did she fulfil these requirements admirably, but she established herself as a compelling presence.

As a J Arthur Rank contract player, Pavlow waited bravely for pilots Alec Guinness in Malta Story (1953) and Kenneth More in Reach for the Sky (1956) to return safely from missions during the second world war, and was the steadfast nurse who loves accident-prone Simon Sparrow (Dirk Bogarde), the medical student in Doctor in the House (1954) – the first in the popular series – and Doctor at Large (1957). In the theatre,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Muriel Pavlow obituary

Stage and screen actor who starred in Malta Story, Reach for the Sky and Doctor at Large

Although her father was a Russian émigré and her mother was Swiss-French, Muriel Pavlow, who has died aged 97, will be remembered as a quintessential British heroine on stage and screen. This meant being well spoken and standing by her man through thick and thin, particularly in the staid England of the 1950s. Not only did she fulfil these requirements admirably, but she established herself as a compelling presence.

As a J Arthur Rank contract player, Pavlow waited bravely for pilots Alec Guinness in Malta Story (1953) and Kenneth More in Reach for the Sky (1956) to return safely from missions during the second world war, and was the steadfast nurse who loves accident-prone Simon Sparrow (Dirk Bogarde), the medical student in Doctor in the House (1954) – the first in the popular series – and Doctor at Large (1957). In the theatre,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Pleasure Principle of Visconti’s "Death In Venice"

  • MUBI
Death in Venice. Courtesy of Warner Bros."You’re much too important a man to be a slave to conventions about nature. I’ll restore what was yours [...] Then you can fall in love."—Luchino Visconti's Death in VeniceThe adaptation of a novel to film is a precarious task, especially with source material as philosophically dense and deliberately cryptic as Thomas Mann’s turn-of-the-century novella Death in Venice. Since the time of its release, Luchino Visconti’s 1971 interpretation of the famous work has weathered a mixed critical reception, with praise reserved primarily for the film’s lush, scenic photography. Still, some considered these elements wasted on a questionable depiction of a man’s Lolita-esque sexual guilt trip. Gustav von Aschenbach, the writer-protagonist of Mann’s story, is in Visconti’s interpretation Aschenbach the composer (played by Dirk Bogarde with fussy and uncharacteristically sallow demeanor), a man self-exiled to Venice in search of rest,
See full article at MUBI »

The Forgotten: Friendly Fire

  • MUBI
King and Country (1964) is a major transitional work for director Joseph Losey and star Dirk Bogarde. Both had been compelled to work in genres that didn't particularly suit them: though Losey had made some strong thrillers, Bogarde had been typed in light comedies from the Rank Organisation or else rather anemic period movies. This Wwi drama offered stronger meat.The story reached the screen circuitously: J.L. Hodson wrote a war memoir from which playwright John Wilson extracted and expanded one narrative, then adapted as a screenplay by regular Losey collaborator Evan Jones. An ordinary soldier, Private Hamp, (Tom Courtenay) is tried for desertion. It's obvious to his defending officer, Bogarde, that Hamp has suffered a breakdown and shouldn't be held responsible for his actions. It's obvious to us, sitting on our 21st century couch a hundred years later, that this is a case of Ptsd: Hamp simply walked away from
See full article at MUBI »

Man Out of His Element: Joseph Losey in the 1960s

  • MUBI
Mubi's retrospective Outlaw Auteur: Joseph Losey is showing November 14 – December 26, 2018 in the United States.The ServantWisconsin-born Joseph Losey began his career in New York theater in 1933, where he quickly established himself, working alongside playwrights Sinclair Lewis and Bertolt Brecht as well as directing Charles Laughton. Turning to the silver screen in 1947, he directed his first feature, The Boy with Green Hair and worked consistently in Hollywood over the next several years, directing such films as a remake of M. Then The Red Scare hit and left Joseph Losey blacklisted. Blacklisted meant no work, and no work meant no money, so he left America, eventually settling in London. Interviewed a year prior to his passing, he spoke of the blacklisting: “Without it I would have three Cadillacs, two swimming pools and millions of dollars, and I’d be dead. It was terrifying. It was disgusting, but you can get trapped by money and complacency.
See full article at MUBI »

Charles S. Cohen on the Lumière Festival, Buster Keaton, the Cinema Experience

  • Variety
Charles S. Cohen on the Lumière Festival, Buster Keaton, the Cinema Experience
Lyon, France – Attending the Lumière Film Festival in Lyon for the first time this week, Charles S. Cohen, chairman and CEO of Cohen Media Group, praised the event and its International Classic Film Market (Mifc).

A producer and distributor of independent and arthouse films and the biggest distributor of French films in the U.S., Cohen Media Group also releases restored and re-mastered editions of classic films through its Cohen Film Collection, which includes the Merchant Ivory library and the Buster Keaton catalog.

In town for the Festival premiere of his documentary, “The Great Buster,” directed by Peter Bogdanovich, Cohen described the market as “specialized and highly focused, which is really appealing to me because it allows me to focus on what we take great pride in, acquiring and licensing these wonderful film assets that are really the DNA of Cohen Media.”

The company partnered with the Festival this year
See full article at Variety »

Fenella Fielding obituary

Actor best known for her femme fatale roles in the Carry On and Doctor films

Inimitable, luxuriantly breathy and slyly mellifluous, Fenella Fielding, who has died aged 90, was a household name in the 1960s when she graced and sidled across the West End stage and the television screen, as well as appearing in the Carry On and Doctor films, usually playing a vamp, or the femme fatale, alongside actors such as Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Dirk Bogarde and James Robertson Justice.

There was always something exotic and possibly louche about Fielding. You never felt that she had skimped on mascara, eyeshadow or lipstick, or that her hair was necessarily all her own in its chaotic and often strangely unkempt manifestation. At the same time, she might appear in public, and occasionally on television, on a chat show, or the popular word game Call My Bluff, dressed in clothes of a distinctly severe line,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Italy’s Centro Sperimentale Ramping up Film Restorations (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Italy’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia is ramping up production of restored Italian cinema gems with several high-profile titles set to screen at upcoming festivals including the Taviani Brothers’ “Good Morning Babilonia” which plays Thursday on Locarno’s Piazza Grande, presented by Paolo Taviani.

The fablelike “Babilonia,” which is about two immigrant stonemasons who work on the sets for D. W. Griffith’s ”Intolerance,” has been praised by Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian as “not just a homage to the great Italian tradition of art and craft workshops, but also an insightful interpretation of what cinema is about.”

The film’s restoration was supervised by its original cinematographer Beppe Lanci, as Csc chief Felice Laudadio points out.

Laudadio has been instrumental to the current push for more restorations being done by the Csc’s film archives. “The plan from now up to next May is for 12 films, which has never been done before,
See full article at Variety »

Lewis Gilbert, Esteemed British Director/Producer, Dead At 97

  • CinemaRetro
Gilbert on the set of the 1977 James Bond blockbuster The Spy Who Loved Me with production designer Ken Adam and producer Albert R. Broccoli at Pinewood Studios, London.

By Lee Pfeiffer

Cinema Retro mourns the news of director/producer Lewis Gilbert's death in London at age 97. Gilbert was a good friend to our magazine and gave what is probably his last interview to our correspondent Matthew Field several years ago. It ran in three consecutive issues of Cinema Retro (#'s18, 19 and 20). 

Gilbert had a remarkable career that began early in life as a music hall performer and an actor in small roles in British films. During WWII he served in the Raf, producing and directing documentaries for the military. His first feature film as director was "The Little Ballerina", released in 1947. Gilbert toiled through directing low-budget, often undistinguished films, honing his craft along the way. He earned praise for
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Exclusive Interview – Director Mark Gill on his Morrissey biopic England is Mine, his creative influences, and more

Alex Moreland speaks to Mark Gill, director of Morrissey biopic England is Mine

So, first of all – can you tell us a little bit about the development of England is Mine? What was your starting point?

Well, my starting point was growing up in the same area of Manchester as Morrissey – literally a couple of streets away – discovering the band when I was a teenage lad, just falling in love with that music really, that voice. I just thought his lyrics were… Like a million other people speak to you directly about your life. And it always stuck with me. I just thought, having grown up in that area of Manchester, which is not a ghetto by any stretch of the imagination, but I always wondered how he managed to survive it. So, that was my starting point. I never really wanted to make a film about The Smiths. It
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Erik the Conqueror

“And On The Eighth Day Bava Created Color.” That’s my sentiment with every new quality restoration of a Mario Bava picture. This amazing new disc of Il Maestro’s teeth-clenched Viking epic delivers stunning action scenes and eye-bending widescreen fantasy visuals. Arrow’s Blu-ray is spiked with a new Tim Lucas commentary.

Erik the Conqueror

Blu-ray + DVD

Arrow Video USA

1961 / Color / 2:35 widescreen (Dyaliscope) / 90 min. / Street Date August 29, 2017 / Available from Arrow Video / 39.95

Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Alice & Ellen Kessler, George Ardisson, Andrea Checchi, Françoise Christophe, Raf Baldassarre, Joe Robinson, Folco Lulli.

Cinematography: Mario Bava, Ubaldo Terzano

Film Editor: Mario Serandrei

Original Music: Roberto Nicolosi

Written by Oreste Biancoli, Mario Bava

Produced by Ferruccio De Martino

Directed by Mario Bava

Far too good to be slammed as a mere imitation of Richard Fleischer’s The Vikings, Mario Bava’s exciting Erik the Conqueror is one of the best of the Italian-made
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Richard Gordon obituary

Novelist whose Doctor in the House books were turned into popular comedy films, starring Dirk Bogarde as Simon Sparrow

Gordon Ostlere, who has died aged 95, was a real-life doctor until 1952, when he left medical practice so that his alter ego, Richard Gordon, could pursue what he considered the more congenial occupation of writing. That year Doctor in the House, the first of Gordon’s breezily good-humoured series of stories with a medical setting, appeared, with a film adaptation following two years later.

The movie was a great success, making a star of Dirk Bogarde as Simon Sparrow, the hapless medical student with matinee idol good looks. He is the innocent who falls in with three already established students at St Swithin’s hospital (Kenneth More, Donald Sinden and Donald Houston), devoted to dating, drinking and sport. Authority came in the form of the fearsome chief surgeon, Sir Lancelot Spratt, realised
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month

1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month
Ronald Colman: Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month in two major 1930s classics Updated: Turner Classic Movies' July 2017 Star of the Month is Ronald Colman, one of the finest performers of the studio era. On Thursday night, TCM presented five Colman star vehicles that should be popping up again in the not-too-distant future: A Tale of Two Cities, The Prisoner of Zenda, Kismet, Lucky Partners, and My Life with Caroline. The first two movies are among not only Colman's best, but also among Hollywood's best during its so-called Golden Age. Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, Jack Conway's Academy Award-nominated A Tale of Two Cities (1936) is a rare Hollywood production indeed: it manages to effectively condense its sprawling source, it boasts first-rate production values, and it features a phenomenal central performance. Ah, it also shows its star without his trademark mustache – about as famous at the time as Clark Gable's. Perhaps
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Victim review – groundbreaking gay thriller given timely rerelease

Dirk Bogarde’s elegant, sensitive portrayal of a man coming to terms with being gay played a vital role in the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality

Basil Dearden’s icily brilliant mystery thriller Victim from 1961 is now rereleased in cinemas, linked to the Gross Indecency season at BFI Southbank, London. Dirk Bogarde is the barrister Melville Farr, haunted by his (unconsummated) gay desires – this in an era when gay sex was illegal – and threatened by a sinister blackmail ring. The other blackmail victims include a stage star played by Dennis Price, who was himself a gay man in that shabby, hypocritical age. In the bankruptcy court, Price claimed his money worries stemmed from gambling, though paying off blackmailers was another possible explanation.

Related: Peter McEnery on Victim: 'I got a lot of letters from the gay community saying: We all thank you’

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Dirk Bogarde: why 'the idol of the Odeons' risked everything for art

With his daring role in Victim, the British star helped to change the gay narrative for ever

Related: Dirk Bogarde: the rebellion of a reluctant pinup

Watching Victim in 1961, audiences would have been shocked to hear the word “homosexual” – the first time it had been uttered in a movie. What shocks when watching Victim today is hearing the words “convicted homosexual”. Homosexuality would remain a crime until the 1967 Sexual Offences Act was passed 50 years ago this month; something this crusading film played its part in bringing about.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Peter McEnery on Victim: 'I got a lot of letters from the gay community saying: We all thank you’

The actor, who played Dirk Bogarde’s blackmailing boyfriend in the 1961 film, reflects on how it changed attitudes – including his own – to homosexuality six years before decriminalisation

Victim was one of those rare films that actually made a difference. Its sympathetic portrayal of homosexuality in 1960s Britain helped pave the way for decriminalisation, six years later, via the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. The Act’s chief architect, Lord Arran, even wrote to Victim’s star, Dirk Bogarde, thanking him. The movie smuggled its courageous campaigning into British cinemas in the guise of an accessible London mystery thriller, in which Bogarde’s respectable, married barrister is drawn into a sprawling blackmail plot by Barrett, a young, gay construction worker, with whom he has been photographed. Peter McEnery, who played Barrett, reminisces on the experience. Sr

I had no reservations at all about taking the role; it was a good part. And I
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

More Gay Stars and Directors and Screenwriters on TCM: From psychos and psychiatrists to surfers and stage mamas

On the day a U.S. appeals court lifted an injunction that blocked a Mississippi “religious freedom” law – i.e., giving Christian extremists the right to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, etc. – not to mention the publication of a Republican-backed health care bill targeting the poor, the sick, the elderly, and those with “pre-existing conditions” – which would include HIV-infected people, a large chunk of whom are gay and bisexual men, so the wealthy in the U.S. can get a massive tax cut, Turner Classic Movies' 2017 Gay Pride or Lgbt Month celebration continues (into tomorrow morning, Thursday & Friday, June 22–23) with the presentation of movies by or featuring an eclectic – though seemingly all male – group: Montgomery Clift, Anthony Perkins, Tab Hunter, Dirk Bogarde, John Schlesinger, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Arthur Laurents, and Jerome Robbins. After all, one assumes that, rumors or no, the presence of Mercedes McCambridge in one
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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