Ken Russell at The BBC and Stendahl Syndrome in the Kitchen
We've really putting our nut down (saving) for many plans but my beautiful husband splurged anyway and bought me my long desired, "Ken Russell at The BBC". A logical segue from "Dance of The Seven Veils" which, alas, cannot be included in my new dvd set due to copyright issues from the poopy Struass family.
I want everyone to own this! I want this shown in all UK schools and as many US schools as possible.
I watched Elgar today and was in for the shock of my life. I of course got the camera out, hoping our baby bumblebee would shyly pose with the box but he instead threw it to the floor and wanted "Barney Sing and Dance". He did warm up when he saw Elgar on the white pony though. Like I said, I was in for a shock. I finally experienced, what I believe to be a mild form of Stendahl syndrome. I somehow thought the film would be a light 20 minute affair with kites and ponies, instead it was a very beautiful and profound film with archival footage of 19th and early 20th century Britain. It felt it was a tad over 75 minutes but I need to check. Each scene was textured, layered on so carefully and the music was beyond belief.
Elgar has his own throne in the pantheon.
Tears seeped out of my eyes for an hour afterwords (not sobbing but seeping). I can't believe the way Elgar and his hopes and despairs just came to life. This was the first work of Ken's in which the WORK artists go through became clear to me. This seems to be the recurring theme of all seven films; Elgar, Duncan, Debussy, Rosetti, Delius, Rousseau and yes, even Reeck-hard Strauss worked, lived and were their art to extent that I don't think exists anywhere today. If it does it is isolated with a few people globally and we must find them. I could have easily named two dozen other artists within each film, connected to the seven, who were working as hard. Comparatively, Earth was once a world of artists. These films are STUNNING.
Once we were naked bodies dancing on a hill at midnight and now we are two eyes staring at Oliver Reed...
And I'm not complaining!
Mark Kermode who narrated the 2002 Devils Channel 4 special.