Death And Venice: A Cinematic Metaphor

Portrayals of Venice in the history of painting and literature have evolved over centuries; moving from reality to myth to dream to metaphor. During that long history, images of Venice slowly transformed from those of a sun-drenched, enchanted playground to those of a darker, more sinister place. Filmed portrayals of Venice have followed much the same evolutionary track as seen in cinema’s sister arts but in an accelerated and compressed fashion (see David Lean’s “Summertime,” 1955, for a vision of Venice as a sunny playground for tourists.)

Few cities in the world have captured the creative imaginations of writers, composers and visual artists like Venice. Built on water, laced with


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