First ever release on Blu-ray of a long-forgotten masterpiece.
The Planets by Gustav Holst is one of the best-loved twentieth-century pieces by a British composer. Ken Russell has taken a brilliant performance of this work, with Eugene Ormandy conducting The Philadelphia Orchestra, and illustrated The Planets with passages from a mass of documentary material.
Russell’s work in film and television has been dazzling and controversial, though often full of charm and insights. His feature film credits include The Music Lovers, Women in Love, Mahler, The Devils, Savage Messiah, Lisztomania, Valentino and Tommy.
In this film from 1983 he presents his visual interpretation of Holst’s music. Written in seven movements, each describes the character of a planet: Mars – forceful and assertive; Venus – love of all things beautiful; Mercury – eloquent; Jupiter – buoyant and hopeful; Saturn – enduring; Uranus – eccentric and unexpected; and Neptune – subtle and mysterious.
Russell’s view of The Planets is provocative, stimulating, inventive, entertaining and wonderfully watchable, with “images that are beautiful, frightful and imaginative” (Daily Mail).
Special Feature: Introduced by Melvyn Bragg
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Picture Format: 4:3 (pillarbox)
Blu-ray Disc 25 GB (Single Layer)
Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)
Running time: 53 mins