Ken Russell's Elgar
has attained classic status in the realm of
television documentaries since it was first shown on November 11th, 1962 as
the 100th programme in the BBC's Monitor
series. Made at a time when
much that is now known about Elgar had yet to be published, Russell's film is
remarkable for its sensitive portrait of the rise of a young musician from a
relatively poor background to international fame.
The film was also groundbreaking, in that for the first time the BBC
relaxed its taboo on using actors in factual films, although Russell was only
allowed to use actors if they appeared in long shot and spoke no dialogue. As
Russell's tribute to music he loved, the film is evocative, visually superb
and true to the elegaic nobility of Elgar's music.
- PAL / Region 2
- Commentary by Michael Kennedy and Ken Russell
- Footage of Elgar at The Three Choirs Festival
- Live recording of 'Land of Hope and Glory' which celebrated the opening of
Abbey Road studios in 1931
- Stills gallery
- Biography of Ken Russell.