Ever since the release of this film, it feels almost impossible to hear the Adagietto without recalling the story of Aschenbach and Tadzio. ‘Death in Venice’ wasn’t the last of Luchino Visconti’s works, yet it feels like his opus magnum and the quintessence of his filmmaking style.
Based on a novella by Thomas Mann, ‘Death in Venice’ tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a composer heading to Venice to rest during a creative and personal crisis. Aside from Mann, Gustav Mahler becomes another co-author of Visconti’s film adaptation. The Adagietto from Symphony No. 5 is not just the signature melody of the movie, but, in a way, a theme of fate. Within the poetic space of the film, nothing can be more beautiful than death, which is readily awaited.