Monday, March 28, 2016

A Death in Venice

TCM is showing a bunch of Dirk Bogarde movies this morning and afternoon, concluding at 4:45 PM with Death in Venice. I have to admit to not having seen this movie before, mostly because I've read the original story and was so put off by it that I've never wanted to see the movie.

The basic story involves a Gustav von Aschenbach (played in the movie by Bogarde) whose death is announced at the beginning of the story. In a flashback, we hear how the guy went to Venice for his health, and while people watching at the beach, he saw a young Polish family. This family has an adolescent son who is just impossibly good-looking, so Gustav becomes obsessed with the boy, following him and the family around and trying to steal glances when he can. The story, with its underlying them of repressed pedophilia, is something I found decidedly creepy.

And yet, the people who review movies, be it people getting paid to do so or the well-meaning amateurs on blogs or at IMDb, tend to praise the movie. It's really about the search for beauty and perfection, and not the sexual themes. And the movie just looks so lovely. Or some stuff life that. Like I said, I haven't seen the movie, so I can't exactly jusgt the movie. You'll have to watch for yourself.

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