About Death in Venice

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In Luchino Visconti’s adaptation of Thomas Mann’s novel, a composer named Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) takes a break from composition and vacations at a seaside resort in Venice to renew his artistic spirit. He is distracted by a young boy who is vacationing with his family, who represents pure beauty to the frustrated composer. Distraction turns into impatient infatuation, which leads to Aschenbach’s eventual doom. The film is adorned with Visconti’s attention to the costumes, look, colors and sounds of 1911 Venice supplemented with Mahler’s lonely melodies—the adagietto of the Fifth Symphony. (35mm presentation)

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