Saturday, December 05, 2009

Ken Russell's DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS -- unveiled at last!

Times are mighty good, if you're a film fan. Sure, mainstream stuff in theaters is mainly bullshit, and you don't see most fringe and/or arthouse films unless you're lucky enough to have an arthouse theater or two in your area... but most of that is easily surmountable if you happen to have a computer in your home, a broadband connection, and the will to try new things.

There are things one never even dreamed of ever seeing being exposed to the light of day, for those bold enough to take initiative.

This week, someone uploaded Ken Russell's missing film to YouTube, which counts as one of the unknown historical events of cinema, for those that notice such things. Notable because the film has been suppressed by the Richard Strauss family since its broadcast on British television in the late 60's - it was intended to be included in the KEN RUSSELL AT THE BBC box set, but was pulled, not unexpectedly, at the last moment. It's an important part of Russell's history, the missing link between his early work for the BBC, and his later, in your face imagery of THE MUSIC LOVERS, THE DEVILS, and LIZSTOMANIA. The Strauss family took some issue, and effectively barred the film from any public screening until at least 2020.

Until now.

Some brave soul uploaded the program to YouTube - the print was not in the best of shape (which brings concerns that someone should look into the BBC's archives), but it's watchable - at least until someone brings it to somebody's attention and it gets pulled.

So, get it while it lasts... and witness your little bit of cinema history.