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Sensational Symphonies – The Unseen Ken Russell

Russell is finally permitted to use a real person in close-up in a highly stylised meditation on the Hungarian born Bartok. ... "The film's structure is even more significant, especially the counter opening of shots of the isolated composer in his sombre, sparsely furnished room in New York City ... Read more
One of Russell's most popular television works, inspired by Eric Fenby's memoir Delius As I Knew Him. The film centres upon the blind and paralysed composer Frederick Delius (Max Adrian), living out his final years in the French countryside with his ever-patient wife, Jelka. He has a stormy ... Read more
Monitor's 100th program and a highly romantic interpretation of Elgar's life. For the first time actors in a documentary were permitted to play living persons on screen but only in long shot and in non-speaking roles. Russell's experimental approach is evident in a series of exhilarating sequences ... Read more
Russell portrays the flamboyant dancer as a self-indulgent exhibitionist and vulgarian intent on shocking the world with her self-consciously outrageous behaviour, promoting the image of a free-spirited artiste and ultimately a pathetic individual entrapped in her own myth-making. The film opens ... Read more
The earliest example of Russell's composer portrait work is a fascinating biography of Sergei Prokofiev which utilise stock footage from Soviet propagand newsreels, stills and live action shots of hands playing at a piano. The BBC then strict policy (soon to be challenged by Russell in his Elgar) ... Read more
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