Tag Archives: Dirk Bogarde

The Damned (1969): The German Ruling Class Goes to Hell

As the credits open Luchino Visconti’s anti-fascist classic The Damned, we are told that “no resemblance to actual events is intended.” Whether Visconti was afraid of lawsuits or he intended the disclaimer as a joke, it’s nonsense. The von Essenbecks are the Krupps, the notorious family of Rhineland industrialists and arms merchants who made an […]

Death In Venice (1971): Homosexuality and the Artifice of Eternity

Luchino Visconti’s film version of Thomas Mann’s novella has been criticized for taking too many liberties with the original. But I think the film is underrated. Visconti, an out gay man, made a strong artistic choice — to play up the story’s homoerotic subtext at the expense of its classical, aesthetic subtext — and stuck […]