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
The Perfect Night In
Great Movies From Warner Bros.
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%
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
Miss Julie
2 Star Empire Rating
Second Mother, The
4 Star Empire Rating
No Escape
2 Star Empire Rating
Ricki And The Flash
2 Star Empire Rating
Dope
4 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
Wes Craven: Film By Film
Empire celebrates the late, great horror director

My Movie Life: Andrew Haigh
The 45 Years director on the movies that made him

Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
Prepare to science the shit out of it...

Deadpool: A Complete History
Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

Spectre – Everything You Need To Know
Empire's essential briefing on James Bond's 24th outing

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
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)