In 1926 the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female moviegoers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. ... See full summary »
Late on Guy Fawkes Day, 1892, Oscar Wilde arrives at a high-class brothel where a surprise awaits: a staging of his play "Salome," with parts played by prostitutes, Wilde's host, his lover ... See full summary »
In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.
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 Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, and pay close attention, as every word and frame is intended to be important.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>
Ken Russell was inspired to make his film about composer Gustav Mahler after greatly disliking Death in Venice (1971). In a segment of his autobiography about Mahler (1974), Russell said that he thought that the other "so-called Mahler film", Death in Venice, was rubbish. "People think it's about Mahler, all because his music is part of the soundtrack! The director, Luchino Visconti, never said it was about him, though." So he mocked the film in his movie. He had a satirical moment when Mahler looks out of the train and sees his dying lookalike. 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 »
[reminded of some medications he should take]
They won't be needed! We're going to live forever!
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A failed experiment, from the improbable to the impossible.
If you like Mahler's music and have read something about his life, then this film is unlikely to meet your expectations.
I found it to be an awkward collection of badly stitched together, largely badly acted parodies, improbable events and dialogues. The actor playing Mahler does make a brave effort, even though the script would have him looking extremely young and healthy even when dying, and behaving rudely much of the time. But for the rest... Alma Mahler looks wanton and superficial, and physically not at all like Alma Mahler. Mahler's father looks just embarrassing, with many other characters being a collection of freaks. Give this a good coating of 1970s dubious experimental ideas and listen to the shrill recording on the DVD, and you are done.
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