March 18, 2003

Morte a Venezia

Last night's movie was Morte a Venezia. It's based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Mann about an exhausted composer who goes to Venice to recharge and becomes smitten by the ethereal beauty of a young boy. There is hardly any dialogue in the film, and most of what is there is discussion of the meaning of Art, Beauty, Genius, and Life. All of the action takes place against the backdrop of the beauty of Venice, but even it is not allowed to be unambiguously beautiful as we discover that the city is the latest to be afflicted by an outbreak of Asian Cholera. The corruption of the city by this epidemic, the corruption of the composer by his obsession with beauty, and the corruption of the world for demanding that Art and Beauty be synonymous are all interwoven in a movie that while completely devoid of anything resembling happiness or even pleasure, is still undeniably both beautiful and artistic. The music in the film is portions Mahler's 3rd and 5th symphonies and is as much a character in the film as the actors and the city of Venice.

We watched a pan-and-scan video tape. See it letterboxed if you possibly can.

Verdict: 3-1/2 stars (out of 4)

Posted by jeffy at March 18, 2003 03:42 PM
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