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Directed by Ken Russell
Produced in 1975
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
Julian Upton bravely delves into Russell's outrageous film based on the life of Franz Liszt.
Released in 1975, Lisztomania is perhaps best described as Ken Russell’s own Rocky Horror Picture Show. An absurdist musical fantasia of the life and work of Franz Liszt (played with pantomime relish by Tommy’s Roger Daltrey), this is as excessive and unrestrained as Russell was allowed to get during his peak period of 1969-75 (no mean feat). The result is an outrageous mishmash of vampish burlesque, movie references and soft pornography that looks like a rock video Meat Loaf might have made with the Satanic Sluts, if they’d been around ten years before MTV. Critics of the time were flabbergasted. And you may well be: 35 years on, Lisztomania is still very badly behaved. But it also stands as further proof that Russell remains Britain’s only genuine punk auteur, up there with Russ Meyer for his ability to marry untouchable style and audacity with considerable technical versatility (this was the first film made in Dolby stereo). You have been warned!
Julian Upton on 31st March 2009
Author of 150 reviews
'The erotic, exotic electrifying rock fantasy... It out-Tommy's TOMMY.'
Ken Russell portrays the flamboyant composer Liszt as the first classical pop star in this fantasy on his life. The Who's Roger Daltrey (who appeared in Russell's Tommy in the same year), takes the leading role.
Rick Wakeman composed the soundtrack for the movie (and also appears in the movie as the nordic god of thunder Thor). Ringo Starr appears as the Pope.
Publisher: Digital Classics
Length: 102 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Cat No: 1012DC
Format: DVD Colour