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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Omnibus: The Dance of the Seven Veils; A Comic Strip in 7 Episodes on the Life of Richard Strauss,1864-1946 (1970) by Ken Russell

Omnibus was an arts-based BBC television documentary series, broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom. It was first shown in 1967, and ended in 2003.

Russell at his best and most kitsch, a foretaste of energy and excitement of The Music Lovers. It is his first television film in color. The film has been described as a violent caricature of composer Richard Strauss. The comic strip approach and appearance of Hitler alienated his audience. A couple make love on the bed and just behind the bed is a chamber orchestra with Ken Russell himself conducting both the orchestra and the couple. When the Strauss family withdrew permission to use the music after the initial broadcast, Russell substituted Johan Strauss when excerpts from the film were broadcast (as in A British Picture). It was time for Ken to move on from the BBC and back into films.


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