Luchino ViscontiItaly / France130 minutes1971Italian English
RESTORED DIGITAL PRESENTATION!
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.