All of Visconti's films, even those dealing with history more or less remote, chronicle realistically the fate of individuals thrown into conflict with societies with which Visconti himself in some manner, either directly or through class ties, identifies.
Identification, on the other hand, has always been a problem for Visconti; he has never carried it as far as recognition, inasmuch as there has really never been a character in his films that resembled its inventor. With Death In Venice the theme of loneliness begins to dominate, but one feels that his own experiences form the emotional base, not the source material. But now he quotes Flaubert's "Madame Bovary c'est moi" when asked...
(The entire section is 662 words.)