CBSO and FTVD presents The Debussy Film (1965) + intro and discussion with John Hill

Electric Cinema, Birmingham

22 March 2018, 6.30pm, Screen 2

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) presents a special screening of the Ken Russell film, adapted for the BBC. Co-written by a young Melvyn Bragg, this ambitious work about the composer’s life is a film within a film, with Vladek Sheybal starring as a director who wants to make a movie about Claude Debussy, played by Oliver Reed.

The film will be introduced and accompanied by a post-show talk with John Hill, Professor of Media at Royal Holloway, University of London. John was the Principal Investigator on a four-year research project on The History of Forgotten Television Drama in the UK and is the co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of British Cinema and Television on the work of the director Ken Russell.

John Hill’s talk will link The Debussy Film to the ‘television biographies’ – such as Elgar (1962) and Bela Bartok (1964) – made by Ken Russell for the BBC in the 1960s. It will consider Russell’s use of dramatisation in these biographies and explain the controversy that The Debussy Film provoked.

This screening is in partnership with The History of Forgotten Television Drama in the UK and part of the CBSO’s Debussy Festival. Click here to see more about the festival.

Equity/Writers Guild and MU members benefit from concession rates for this screening.

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