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174 Ratings


Directed by Ken Russell
United Kingdom, 1975
Comedy, Fantasy


A wild and imaginitive send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer/piano virtuoso Franz Liszt. Director Ken Russell utilizes ubiquitous phallic imagery and devotes a good portion of the film to Liszt’s “friendship” with fellow composer Richard Wagner.

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Lisztomania Directed by Ken Russell

Critics reviews

The movie overflows with ideas and invention, each in service of Russell's central thesis: the fascists and conservatives can only co-opt art because the best of it is intended to unify people through the illumination of our experience. The best political art believes foremost in humanity. Fascism denies it.
December 01, 2016
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While his sense of story construction, such as it is, abandons him, Russell's musicological chops stay somewhat keen albeit increasingly deranged... The pop-art trappings of this period of Russell film are sometimes deemed psychedelic but their garishness and incoherence are more truly representative of the alcoholic bender. Lisztomania is certainly a curious film, and very watchable in its curiousness, but it's ultimately a hectoring film.
June 01, 2015
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