Karel Reisz was born in 1926 in Czechoslovakia. He came to England in 1938 as a Jewish refugee, one of the six hundred children rescued by Sir Nicholas Winton. After attending Leighton Park School, he joined the Royal Air Force towards the end of the war. Both his parents died at Auschwitz. Following his war service, he read Natural Sciences at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and began to write for film journals, including Sight and Sound. He co-founded Sequence with Lindsay Anderson and Gavin Lambert in 1947.
Reisz was a founder member of the Free Cinema documentary film movement. His first short film, Momma Don’t Allow (1955), co-directed with Tony Richardson, was included in the first Free Cinema programme shown at the National Film Theatre in February 1956.
His first feature film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) was based on the realist novel by Alan Sillitoe, and used many of the same techniques as his earlier documentaries. It won several BAFTA awards including the… read more
Largesse practically drowns this earnest if episodic (not helped by unsympathetic editing) dawdle through the key points in Duncan's life. The dots don't quite join together and it resembles an over elaborately detailed thimble. An odd topic to throw millions at, but the art direction is worthy of a viewing. Redgrave acts with a capital A which doesn't help. Not a patch on Ken Russell's film from a year or so earlier
everyone always goes on and on about meryl streep's combination of technique and emotionalism but no one ever talks about vanessa redgrave (not on this site, anyway). here, redgrave is everything others feel streep is – you're aware of the meticulousness of her craft, accent and all, but she is so charismatic, so full of life, that you can't take your eyes off her. it's one of the great performances in cinema.
Superior performance by Redgrave who manages to uncannily look like Duncan even though the two are poles apart physically. The art direction here is another plus requiring letterboxing and color restoration to fully appreciate its beauty. Complete 3 hour cut also necessary! Good companion and contrast to this is Ken Russell's ISADORA: THE BIGGEST DANCER IN THE WORLD 1966 with the great Vivian Pickles.
This film details her life and how she became the unique woman and artist that she was. Her story is fascinating not only because she was one of the innovators of contemporary dance but also because of her intelligence, visionary imagination and determination. She was one of the most brilliant people of modern times. In many ways she was as much a philosopher as a dancer