In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde Composer Gustav von Aschenbach (Sir Dirk Bogarde) 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 (Björn Andrésen), 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>
In the dining room, Gustav von Aschenbach (Sir Dirk Bogarde) orders "soup and fish", which is also a slang term for his formal evening suit. See more »
TV aerials clearly visible on Venetian rooftops in one scene. 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.
No Gustav, no. Beauty belongs to the senses. Only to the senses.
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Death in Venice is a must see for all of those interested in "great" film-making. I regard the film as essential watching. The final scene, in which the lovesick middle aged man watching a beautiful boy as his absurd makeup runs and he dies of the plague is one of the most horrific and sad in film history. Featuring the music of Gustav Mahler, we are visited by the dark, amber strains of his Fourth Symphony as we visit Venice, which has been beset with the plague. A middle aged man falls in love with a teenage boy, and is heartsick from afar. This is sumptuous, heartbreaking film-making. A must see.
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