Ken Russell applies his typically outrageous and original sensibility to the story of 19th century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Richard Chamberlain) who wrote enduring classical and theatrical music ranging from ballets "Swan Lake," "The Sleeping Beauty" and "The Nutcracker" to the 1812 Overture. The film follows his struggles with suppressed homosexuality, his failed marriage to a woman (Glenda Jackson) who loses her mind when he leaves her and his relationship with a wealthy widowed patron with whom he exchanges passionate letters about music, but whom he never sees. Visually dazzling and emotionally wrenching from the train scene where Tchaikovsky and his bride attempt to consummate their marriage in the lurching locomotive that thrashes them about violently to a magical display of fireworks on the lawn of his patron's estate.
A TRIBUTE TO KEN RUSSELL (1927 – 2011)
THE MUSIC LOVERS
screening format: 35mm
Egyptian Theatre • Wed, Jan 25, 2012 • 7:30pm