Ken Russell at the BBC 3DVDSet Region 1
  • DirectorKEN RUSSELL
  • CastHuw Wheldon, Peter Brett, Rowena Gregory, George McGrath, Max Adrian
  • Film Genre UK Cinema
  • CountryUSA
  • Language English
  • Subtitle English
  • Year2008
  • Runtime409 MINSmins
  • Disc3
  • FormatDVD
  • RegionDVD REGION 1
  • Weight(kg)0.29kg
  • ISBN883929019694
Regular PriceHK$503

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Ken Russell at the BBC 3DVDSet Region 1

Ken Russell at the BBC

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The documentaries heighten their subjects’ flair for drama, and take interpretive liberties to recount the lives of those on screen. Impassioned explosions, nervous breakdowns, and tragic calamities are the norm. Always on Sunday (1965) studies how genius is manifest at great cost in Henri Rousseau, after the death of his wife and a friendship with Surrealist colleague, Alfred Jarry. Dante’s Inferno (1967) depicts the Pre-Raphaelite set, focusing on Dante Rosetti’s fiery persona and its negative effects on his muse, Elizabeth Siddal. In Isadora Duncan: Biggest Dancer in the World (1966), the arts and crafts-era mistress of movement maniacally travels the world in search of funding for her dancing schools. Though the characters depicted are wildly different, they share blinding passions and melodramatic means of achieving their ambitions. Many of these films are narrated in the third person, but occasionally their subjects share dialogue, elaborating the dramatic sense. Song of Summer (1968) is the breakthrough, starring young composer, Eric Fenby (Christopher Gable), who moves in with blind, paralyzed elder musician, Frederick Delius, to help finish his scores. Third-person narration fizzles out early on to allow the characters to speak about the need to create, even when handicapped. Delius and Fenby’s relationship strengthens as the two develop their music together, and gorgeous landscape scenes, or scenes depicting high human emotions, roll as soundtrack to the composer’s works as the film progresses. Heavily dramatized, the only documentary aspect to this film seems to be Russell’s dedication to tying film to music, by showing how Delius visualized his music. Ken Russell at the BBC says as much about the quality of BBC programming during the era as the director’s unhinged imagination, and it’s a wonder to view these films as precedents to what the BBC also pioneered a decade later in the 1970s, namely the much more fact-based documentaries, hosted by scientists and scholars like nature man, David Attenborough.