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Death in Venice is a 1971 film directed by Luchino Visconti and starring Dirk Bogarde and Björn Andrésen. The film is based on the novella Death in Venice (1912) by Thomas Mann.
The protagonist, Gustav von Aschenbach, travels to Venice for health reasons. There, he becomes obsessed with the stunning beauty of an adolescent Polish boy named Tadzio who is staying with his family at the same Grand Hôtel des Bains on the Lido as Aschenbach.
While the character Aschenbach in the novella is an author, Visconti changed his profession to that of a composer. "Playing the role" of Aschenbach's music in the film is the music of Gustav Mahler, in particular the moving Adagietto from his Fifth Symphony, which opens and closes the film, and sections from his Third Symphony. Apart from this change, the film is relatively faithful to the book, but with added scenes where Aschenbach and a musician friend debate the degraded aesthetics of his music; again, this has direct parallels in the life and...