Choice: Film

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Death in Venice, mac, Birmingham (0121-440 3838) 3pm

While no movie is ever as good on TV, some just about survive the scanning process and being squashed onto the small screen. Visconti's adaptation of Thomas Mann's novella is not one of them. You should see its Tintoretto-like textures on the big screen or not at all. Mind you, if you go to the movies for action, then I suggest "not at all", but even die-hard Die Hard fans would have to admit that the film is extraordinarily beautiful. Dirk Bogarde (above) had effectively jettisoned his faded British screen presence with his alarmingly jaded lead in Visconti's The Damned two years earlier, but that had nothing like the impact of this performance, which carries the entire film. Visconti turns the character into a Mahler-like composer and the result is one of the most famous classical soundtracks ever made. Indeed, the Adagietto from Mahler's Fifth Symphony has never quite recovered from this over- exposure.

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