Both trifles and structure are tossed out the door by director Ken Russell in this film. Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, and pay close attention, as every word and frame is intended to be important. The film takes place on a single train ride, in which the sickly composer Gustav Mahler and his wife, Alma, confront the reasons behind their faltered marriage and dying love. Each word seems to evoke memories of past, and so the audience witnesses events of Mahler's life that explain somewhat his present state. Included are his turbulent and dysfunctional family life as a child, his discovery of solace in the "natural" world, his brother's suicide, his [unwanted] conversion from Judiasm to Catholicism, his rocky marriage and the death of their young child. The movie weaves in and out of dreams, flashbacks, thoughts and reality as Russell poetically describes the man behind the music. Written by
Jonathan Dakss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Did You Know?
Cameo: [Oliver Reed
] a train conductor blowing a whistle as Mahler's train is about to pull out of the station. See more
When Mahler's train leaves St. Pölten, a sign is visible identifying the town as "Saint Pölten". Yet, the German long script for the town is "Sankt Pölten". See more
I can't remember - what religion are you?
I... am a composer.
Referenced in Brows Held High: The Devils
O Du Lieber Augustine
Traditional, also attributed to Marx Augustin
[Heard as a theme during the swimming scene] See more