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Topic Summary

Posted by: BoyScoutKevin
« on: June 30, 2011, 10:39:05 PM »

There is "ignoring" of the truth and "interpretation" of the truth. Russell does not "ignore" the truth in his films, he applies his "interpretation" of the truth. Which is one of the reasons I enjoy him and his films, but which most of his critics, including this one, cannot understand.
Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: June 29, 2011, 02:07:06 AM »

A review by Igor Toronyi-Lalic, 28 June 2011

The review does quickly enter into cliche Rusell hate:

"There are many ways to get to the truth. One of the best ways is to ignore the truth. That seems to be the mantra of Ken Russell's colourfully mendacious portrait of the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Music Lovers, receiving its long-awaited DVD release. The script (by a young Melvyn Bragg) is breathless and ludicrous and yields too swiftly and too often to the hysterical - to carpet-clawing madness, glass-smashing fury and shirt-tearing lust - as it follows an improbably manic and louche Tchaikovsky (Richard Chamberlain) and his struggles to juggle the obsessive love of the women and men around him. Yet it is a film impossible to condemn."

So far the attacks seem to be on the script (which I love) by Bragg.  But the blame is on Ken.
To get specific:
"The basic outline is not entirely wrong (his First Concerto was rejected by Nikolai Rubinstein; his failure of a marriage did provoke a crisis; he and his mother did die of cholera and his mother's death did affect him very much). But key elements (the vileness of Rubinstein, the exploitative behaviour of brother Modest, the asylum-confined end of his wife Antonina Miliukova, his suicide, his mania, his problems with his homosexuality) are exaggerated or invented."

I don't know what his mania refers to, and "his problem with his homosexuality" are "exaggerated".  So being homosexual in 19th centuary Russia was not a problem?

"The lurid script means none of the acting could ever be described as good."

But script and acting are different.  Isn't Glenda's performance magnificent.  And Richard Chamberlain.  And most of the other actors (other than the sister)?

And as always the words do get very silly and pretentious "the prosaic of actorly good taste and biographical fidelity".

I actually think the reviewer loved the film, but can't get beyond emotional blocks to say so.

Posted by: richmond74
« on: June 24, 2011, 07:11:53 PM »

Copy arrived today, bare bones DVD but thankfully a decent print and in widescreen.

More accurately titled The Music Leaches, I'd forgotten what a strong film this is and a high peak of Russellism with its gloriously intense (and blackly comic) fantasia on stifled creativity and leaching sexual/social possession. Flamboyant and delicate by turns, it’s performed with steely gusto and directed with great panache. Not quite The Devils, but if one were to select a representative title, then it would probably be this one. One of Ken's finest and a great all-rounder. I remember watching this and Mahler as my first Ken outings and was hooked ever since!
Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: June 07, 2011, 01:47:40 AM »

Delayed to end June 2011, but hopefully here soon.
Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: March 26, 2011, 07:23:57 PM »

Good news, it took long enough.
Posted by: Apuleius
« on: March 26, 2011, 02:54:48 PM »

 The Music Lovers on DVD  June 6.  see and amazon.