This musical biography, Russell-style, comes over like a cross between a comic strip and Life with the Mahlers (or the trials of bringing up and living with a genius). All the usual brashness and obsessions are there, which may well offend the purists, especially as the film is very much a reply to Visconti's Death in Venice. What he gives us is in fact one of the more successful excursions into the cinema of pantheism, a series of tableaux interpreting Mahler's music. Powell is suitably impressive as the composer, and Georgina Hale excellent as his wife (on its most serious level, the film is about her stifled creativity). Despite the low budget (maybe because of it), Russell has produced his most appealing work since his BBC Omnibus days.