Dance Of The Seven Veils (Ken Russell)

A comic strip in 7 episodes on the life of Richard Strauss 1864-1949

Ken Russell at his best and most kitsch, a foretaste of energy and excitement of The Music Lovers. It is his first television film in colour.  The film is about composer Richard Strauss, who Russell seems to hate violently. The comic strip approach and appearance of Hitler alienated his audience. savage messiah A Ken Russel site by Iain Fisher

The last film Russell would make for the BBC, the infamous The Dance of the Seven Veils: A Comic Strip in Seven Episodes on the Life of Richard Strauss (1970), exhibited no such restraint. The complete title reveals Russell’s intention to create a satirical political cartoon on the life of the German composer, who Russell saw as a „self-advertising, vulgar, commercial man . . . [a] crypto-Nazi with the superman complex underneath the facade of the distinguished elderly composer.“ And, although, according to Russell, „95 percent of what Strauss says in the film he actually did say in his letters and other writings,“ many critics and viewers found Russell’s treatment of the venerated composer itself to be vulgar.  The Museum of Broadcast Communications

Dance of the Seven Veils (1970)

For Omnibus, BBC, tx. 15/2/1970, 55 mins, colour
Director und Producer Ken Russell
Music Richard Strauss
Production BBC Television
Cast: Christopher Gable (Richard Strauss), Judith Paris (Pauline Strauss), Kenneth Colley (Hitler), Vladek Sheybal (Goebbels), James Mellor (Goering), Sally Bryant (Life)


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