Composer and pianist Franz Liszt (Roger Daltrey) attempts to overcome his hedonistic life-style while repeatedly being drawn back into it by the many women in his life and fellow composer Richard Wagner (Paul Nicholas).
In 1926, the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female movie-goers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. ... 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.
A send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt (Roger Daltrey), with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the movie devoted to Liszt's "friendship" with fellow composer Richard Wagner (Paul Nicholas). This movie begins during the time when Franz would give piano performance to a crowd of shrieking teenage fans while maintaining affairs with his mistresses. He eventually seeks Princess Carolyn of St. Petersburg (Sara Kestelman) (at her invitation), elopes, and, after their marriage is forbidden by the Pope (Sir Ringo Starr), he embraces the monastic life as an abbé.Written by
Jonathan Dakss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm a great fan of Ken Russell's films. What I like most about them is the director's ability (and willingness) to totally immerse his productions into whatever mania happens to be the driving force behind its subject. The results are often excellent, occasionally poor. But never have I seen a film that was, at once, so incredibly visionary and God-awful as Lisztomania.
In most Russell films, fantasy takes on an important role in the dramatic narrative. In Lisztomania, the narrative is virtually jettisoned in favor of fantasy, and not to altogether admirable effect.
Still, any motion picture that can give us Richard Wagner portrayed as a Transylvanian vampire who gains musical inspiration by sucking the blood of Franz Liszt deserves points for imaginative hubris.
Ultimately, Lisztomania is less a film than a comic boot pastiche. Its humor is, by turns, dazzling and lead-footed. Compared to THE MUSIC LOVERS (another Russell bio-pic, this time about Tchaikovsky), Lisztomania is, for all it gleeful, lip-smacking gusto, a rather tired affair, largely because it's metaphors are so pedantic and literal-minded.
I should point out, however, that Wagner's third-act transformation (or should I say resurrection) into a machine gun-toting, Frankenstein-Hitler rock star (yes, you read correctly) is a genuinely
7 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this