Death in Venice
Italy / France
Producers: Mario Gallo, Luchino Visconti
Director: Luchino Visconti
Script: Luchino Visconti, Nicola Badalucco, based on the short story of the same title by Thomas Mann
Director of Photography: Pasqualino De Santis
Production Designer: Ferdinando Scarfiotti
Composers: Vittorio Trentino, Giuseppe Muratori
Editor: Ruggero Mastroianni
Cast: Dirk Bogarde, Björn Andrésen, Silvana Mangano, Nora Ricci, Franco Fabrizi, Marisa Berenson, Carole Andre, Romolo Valli.
The avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period of artistic and personal stress. But he finds no peace there, for he soon develops a troubling attraction to an adolescent boy, Tadzio, on vacation with his family. The boy embodies an ideal of beauty that Aschenbach has long sought and he becomes infatuated. However, the onset of a deadly pestilence threatens them both physically and represents the corruption that compromises and threatens all ideals.
25th Birthday Award (special award created for the occasion to decide between the two favorites for the Palme d'Or), Cannes IFF, 1971; Best Cinematography, Best Sound Track, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, BAFTA Awards, 1972; Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Nastro d'Argento Awards, Italy, 1972
Luchino Visconti (1906, Milan, - 1976, Rome, Italy)
Italian cinema, theatre and opera director, as well as a screenwriter, one of the outstanding masters of world cinema. He began his filmmaking career as an assistant director on Jean Renoir's Toni (1935) and Une partie de campagne (1936), thanks to the intercession of their common friend, Coco Chanel. With Gianni Puccini, Antonio Pietrangeli and Giuseppe De Santis he wrote the screenplay for his first film as director: Obsession (1943), the first neorealist movie. Visconti continued working throughout the 1950s, although he veered away from the neorealist path with his film, Senso. In this film, Visconti combines realism and romanticism as a way to break away from neorealism. However, Visconti returned to neorealism once more with Rocco and His Brothers (1960), the story of Southern Italians who migrate to Milan hoping to find financial stability. Throughout the 1960s, Visconti's films became more personal. The Leopard is based on Tomasi di Lampedusa's novel about the decline of the Sicilian aristocracy at the time of the Risorgimento. It was not until The Damned that Visconti received a nomination for an Academy Award, for "Best Screenplay". The film, one of Visconti's best-known works, concerns a German industrialist's family which slowly begins to disintegrate during the Nazi consolidation of power at the 30s. Its decadence and lavish beauty are characteristic of Visconti's aesthetic. Visconti's final film was The Innocent, in which he returns to his recurring interest in infidelity and betrayal.
Obsession (1943), Days of Glory (1945, doc.), La terra trema (1948), Appunti su un fatto di cronaca (1951, doc., short), Bellissima (1951), Siamo Donne/Of Life and Love (segment “Anna Magnani”, 1953), Senso (1954), White Nights (1957), Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Boccaccio 70 (segment Il Lavoro, 1961), The Leopard (1963), Vaghe stele dell’Orsa/Sandra (1965), The Witches (segment “La strega bruciata viva”, 1967), The Stranger (1967), La caduta degli dei/The Damned (1969), Alla ricerca di Tadzio (TV, 1970), Death in Venice (1971), Ludwig (1972), Gruppo di famiglia in un interno/Conversation Piece (1974), The Innocent (1976).