Death In Venice

Director Luchino Visconti's screen adaptation of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice is both a triumph of visual style and a problematic study of literature-into-film translations. In collaboration with cinematographer Pasquale De Santis, Visconti captures Mann's haunting story in images of hypnotic beauty, yet they are images which the film's verbal exposition cannot always equal. One of the themes of Mann's brilliant novella has to do with the artist's recognition of the power and validity of physical beauty, and Visconti's cinematic approach conveys his understanding of this theme in every frame. The splendor of Venice, the elegance of Aschenbach's seaside hotel, the androgynous perfection of the boy Tadzio -all are photographed in a lush, unhurried manner that allows the viewer to linger on a detail or to simply absorb the richness of the scene as a whole. This is a story -and a film- of contemplation, and Visconti permits his audience to share in the overwhelming sensuality that will penetrate Aschenbach's emotional reserve and shatter his lifelong convictions about philosophy and art. Yet at this is also a story of death -Aschenbach's own, as well as the destruction of his rigidly-held ideas- Visconti has permeated his film with an atmosphere of decay. Images of death are everywhere. Indeed, when Aschenbach at last allows himself to be powdered and rouged into a pathetic parody of youthfulness, his face resembles nothing so much as a death mask, streaked with black as the sun melts the paint around his eyes. This pairing of beauty and death, which lies at the heart of the story itself, lends the film an unsettling, almost oppressive air, reminiscent of flowers on the verge of wilting. Janet E. Lorenz

Luchino Visconti
Nicola Badalucco (Thomas Mann’ın romanından)

Pasquale de Santis

Ruggero Mastroianni

Cinematographic Alpha

Bjorn Andresen
Dirk Bogarde
Marisa berenson
Mark Burns
Silvana Mangano

Gustav Mahler

25th Anniversary Prize Cannes
Best Art Direction
Best Cinematography
Best Costume Design
Best Director
Best Director David di Donatello
Best European Film Bodil
Best Foreign Director Kinema Junpo
Best Foreign Film French Syndicate of Cinema Critics
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Producer
Best Production Design
Best Sound Track Bafta
Best Supporting Actress Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists

12th Festival on Wheels