Death in Venice
La signora di tuttiMax Ophüls, 1934
Two opulent classics, from late in Visconti's career and early in Ophüls's.
Exquisite and lush, Death in Venice transforms the writer at the center of Thomas Mann’s novella into a composer based on Gustav Mahler, whose sumptuous music fills the film's score. Dirk Bogarde (in a remarkable characterization) plays the aging musician who becomes obsessed with a beautiful young boy even as his life steadily slips away from him. (130 mins., 35mm)
Esteemed film scholar Peter Wollen once put La signora di tutti at the top of his picks for the best film ever. Other critics have praised its surprising modernity and noted stylistic similarities to Ophüls’s better known Lola Montès. A truly international director, Ophüls got his start in Germany but is probably best known for the pictures he made in France and Hollywood, which include Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Earrings of Madame de, and La Ronde. Isa Miranda plays a movie star who relives the past romantic entanglements have led her to the brink of suicide in this, the only film he made in Italy. (97 mins., 35mm)
La signora di tutti print provided by the British Film Institute.
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