Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12a
Cast
Dirk Bogarde
Bjorn Andresen
Silvana Mangano
Marisa Berenson.
Directors
Luchino Visconti.
Screenwriters
Nicola Badalucco
Thomas Mann
Luchino Visconti.
Running Time
130 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Terminator Genisys
2 Star Empire Rating
Magic Mike XXL
2 Star Empire Rating
Dear White People
4 Star Empire Rating
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Hot Pursuit
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

Death In Venice
Bogarde drama based on Thomas Mann's novella


submit to reddit


Plot
An avant-garde composer takes a break at a Venetian seaside resort, after suffering from stress. However, when he develops a disturbing attraction to an adolescent boy, and cholera threatens the resort, he finds no rest at all…


Review
Trying to regain his failing health, Gustav von Aschenbach (Bogarde) convalesces in cholera-ridden Venice – not the smartest of moves – where he falls for the cherubic charms of a young boy (Andresen).

Visconti takes certain liberties with Thomas Mann's novella, including changing the protagonist's profession to composer, largely to populate his soundtrack with the haunting symphonies of Gustav Mahler. Latent homosexuality is merely hinted at, and Aschenbach faces his own inner turmoil as if it were an intellectual challenge more than a moral dilemma – all part of the film's quirky charm.

As a piece of cinema, this tale of a moribund composer unexpectedly stirred by pure beauty is often ravishing. The attention to period detail, the glories of the setting and the pulchritude of the cast cannot be faulted. However, as an adaptation of Thomas Mann's novella, it's an undoubted disappointment. By concentrating on homosexual desire, director Luchino Visconti misses the intellectual subtext of Dirk Bogarde's disquiet on encountering 14 year-old Bjørn Andresen, thus making Aschenbach seem like a prissy stalker rather than a man who is suddenly forced to question the validity of his entire life.


Verdict
The pace is glacial and the atmosphere oppressive, but Bogarde gives one of the most moving performances of his career. Somewhat controversial upon its initial release due to its paedophilic undertones, Death In Venice has aged remarkably well, in part because its beauty, tragedy and slow inevitability are so timeless.


Reviewed by Justin Bowyer

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Death In Venice
Empire Star Rating

Masterpiece

One of Visconti's very finest works - ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bobbyperu at 11:14, 02 August 2011 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
100 Greatest Movie Characters
Week 2 of your all-time favourite heroes and villains

10 Things To Look Out For At Comic-Con
Empire's look ahead to this week's big panels

Mirror Match: 10 Movies Where Your Evil Twin Attacks
A new challenger enters… and it’s YOU (but with bad facial hair)

Please Explain! With Arnold Schwarzenegger...
Plus Emilia Clarke on pranks, smiles and 'The Robot'

Bonfire Of The Vanities: When Personal Projects Go Wrong
15 hubristic horrors that went straight to movie jail

Hollywood Jackanory: Stars Reading Things Out Of Context
From Ian McKellen vs. One Direction to Hugh Jackman vs. baking innuendos

Before And After: How 10 Books Changed On Their Way To Becoming Movies
...And how their authors reacted

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)