Dir: Ken Russell
Starring: Roger Daltrey and Sara Kestelman
A fantasia based on the life of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt
This film is developed in part from a biography of Franz Liszt, and in part from an actual ‘kiss-and-tell’ book, Nélida, by Marie d’Agoult, about the couple’s affair. In true Ken Russell fashion, it is a surreal and oddly flamboyant movie that rather than following a straightforward narrative, presents Liszt’s life through a series of episodes. It is rather sexy at times, and comically absurd at others, but largely it is difficult to understand. There is also a bizarre scene early on in which a train smashes through a grand piano that has been left on a railway line!? This was filmed on Freshfield Bank on the Bluebell Railway and the locomotive that demolished the dummy balsa wood piano was ex-LBSCR Class A1X ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0T No.72 Fenchurch.