Death In Venice, Blow-up and The Damned from Warner
Warner Home Video have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of Death In Venice and Blow-up for 12th April 2004, with The Damned set to follow on 24th May. These works from two celebrated international directors will retail at £12.99 each.
Themes of visual splendour and his trademark meticulous realism resonate throughout Italian film-maker Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice (shortlisted for the Palm D'Or, 1971) and The Damned (nominated for Best Original Screenplay, 1969 Academy Awards). His other critical successes include Rocco and His Brothers and The Leopard, which were included in Visconti's retrospective season at the National Film Theatre in 2003.
Blow-up won Michelangelo Antonioni the coveted Palm D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1967, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Director. With the late David Hemmings perfectly cast as photographer Thomas, the film captures the essence of "swinging London". His acclaimed early 1960s trilogy ("The Adventure", "The Night" and "The Eclipse") allowed him to move into English language films: Blowup was followed by Zabriskie Point in 1970. In 1995 Antonioni received an honorary Academy Award as a tribute to his contribution to film, which still continues - his latest project, Eros, is a collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh.
Death In Venice (1971) - Adapted from the novel by Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (Morte a Venezia) follows composer Gustav von Ashenbach (Dirk Bogarde) as he arrives in Venice seeking spiritual refreshment. But troubled Gustav finds his surroundings unsettling and is disturbed by the sight of a beautiful young boy he sees at the lido.
As the embodiment of his ideal of physical beauty, the composer's growing infatuation with the youth is inevitable. However, the onset of a pestilence in Venice not only threatens their physical wellbeing, but represents the corrupt values that compromise all high ideals.
Cert: 12; 125 mins; Mono Soundtrack; Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Special Features: 'Visconti's Venice' featurette, 'A Tour of Venice' Photo Gallery, Trailer
Blow-up (1966) - David Hemmings and Vanessa Redgrave star in Antonioni's intriguing examination of the thin divide between illusion and reality set in the vibrant atmosphere of 1960s London. Tired of the endless stream of perfect female forms passing through his studio, playboy photographer Thomas (Hemmings) takes pictures of an amorous couple in a park.
During the tense, claustrophobic scene in which the shots are developed he gradually comes to realise that he's uncovered a murder. Events take a terrifying turn when the body is discovered and Thomas' studio is raided.
Cert: tbc; 107 mins; Mono Soundtrack; Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Special Features: Audio commentary by Author Peter Brunette, Music Only track, Trailer
The Damned (1969) - In 1930s Germany a wealthy industrialist family struggles to maintain its status and influence in the face of the relentless rising tide of fascism. Divided by the rapidly changing social and economic climate, the family members resort to blackmail, sexual manipulation and murder in a desperate struggle for power and prestige. Starring Dirk Bogarde and Helmut Berger.
Cert: tbc; 151 mins; Mono Soundtrack; Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Special Features: 'Visconti' featurette, Trailer