Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Albeit with a soupçon of envy

(We talk a great deal on Ken Russell's You Tube clips Here are comments and some responses from You tube about Mahler that I really appreciated and enjoyed.)

I actually like slower films, like antonioni or traffaut. But there is something about Ken Russell that is magical. For me he is the closest thing to the bombastic silent film directors to make films in the sound era. I can totally imagine The Devils as a silent film.

Watched this yesterday and I'm still thinking about it. What it does that I've never seen anything else do as acutely is show two people, with the best will in the world, tragically failing to communicate because of the way their personal experiences have shaped their viewpoints. At the start they're so estranged that they seem like monsters of froideur. By the end we understand them and finally, they understand each other – thanks to music. [more]

  • A very interesting movie, combining seriousness with camp. Powell is very good as Mahler, and a few years later he played Jesus Christ in Zeffirelli's excellent "Jesus of Nazareth". I guess if you can play Christ convincingly, everything else becomes a cinch!
    Thanks for uploading this!

    What a travesty. Stupid,banal, tasteless and an insult to Mahler. the fact it's consciously banal doesn't make it any better. Oh yes so over the top it's hilarious but I am somewhere between tears and laughter. Ken Russell is the anti Tarkovsky

    You raise an interesting thought; Ken Russell is the anti-Tarkovsky. By being so excessive at being calculatedly over the top, Russell allows the intellectual cinema viewer to have a good laugh at themselves Tarkovsky, on the other hand, is excessive at being ponderously serious. One arisian shows humanity as something tragic, the other as something laughable.
    Thanks for the post and making me think about those two.

    I actually saw the movie several times because of Robert Powell. It brought Mahler to my atention ant I beggined listening to his music. I also got interested in his biography. I came to appreciate both the composer and his music. Since I came to know and appreciate Mahler first of all because of this movie, I believe both Robert Powell and Ken Russel have done a great job, and the movie really reached its goal. To let people know about Mahler and his music.

    Thanks for the upload. I thought is was a pretty crude attempt, frankly. Russell reduces key points in Mahler's like to absurdity. I'm not sure a movie could do someone like a Mahler justice, even if it's one man's "vision" of this genius of late romantic / modern music. His relationship with Alma was for more complex than Russell gives us. Alma was far more than a simple "hausfrau." She was a highly educated and beautiful woman who had notions of a career in music herself.

    I like the campy dream sequence bits, but it's almost a shame they're there because they give Russell this reputation for being a sort of trash king and overshadow the genuine intelligence of his story. Anyway, thanks very much for posting this.


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