Maestro! The Films of Luchino Visconti

Death in Venice

Morte a Venezia

Luchino ViscontiItaly / France130 minutes1971PGItalian English

Jul 27
Aug 10
  • Press & Industry screenings and events are only for accredited passes.
  • Please note that only items from our Quiet Snacks menu may be consumed during this screening. This menu has been selected to ensure our audiences' experience is not disrupted. TIFF is committed to providing the best film-going environment possible for all audience members.


Based on the Thomas Mann novella, Visconti's most famous film is suffused with the director's own intimations of mortality: in the burnished images of Venice, the precise, tormented performance of Dirk Bogarde, and the rapturous surge of Mahler's Fifth Symphony, Visconti inscribed his own sense of erotic longing and impending end. Dressed to look like Mahler, Bogarde plays Gustav von Aschenbach, a celebrated composer who arrives in the splendour and decay of the Adriatic city and becomes transfixed by the pure beauty of a young Polish boy (Björn Andresen) who is on vacation with his parents, the youth's radiance stirring an ardour and sensuality he has long repressed. "Bogarde [gives] the greatest performance of his career, in fact one of the greatest of any screen performances ... This is exalted filmmaking" (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian).

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna and Luce Cinecittà.