Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. United Kingdom/France, 1968. Hakim, Paris Film, Universal Pictures. Screenplay by Melvyn Bragg, Clive Exton, additional dialogue by Margaret Drabble, based on the books Isadora Duncan An Intimate Portrait by Sewell Stokes, and My Life by Isadora Duncan. Cinematography by Larry Pizer. Produced by Raymond Hakim, Robert Hakim. Music by Maurice Jarre. Production Design by Jocelyn Herbert. Costume Design by Rebecca Breed, John Briggs, Ruth Myers. Film Editing by Tom Priestley. Academy Awards 1968. Cannes Film Festival 1969. Golden Globe Awards 1968.
Vanessa Redgrave gives one of her most electrifying performances in this fascinating biography of modern dancer Isadora Duncan. Never having had any rigorous, traditional training, Duncan wowed the world with her physically free and exotic (sometimes erotic) methods of movement, ushering in a whole new era of the artform and capturing international imaginations with her colourful personality. This marvelously paced biopic goes from Duncan’s early days as an unknown, through to her prosperity, plus pointing out the times in her life when she wasn’t so popular (she was suspected of being a communist sympathizer, and a tour of Russia did not help things one bit). Her tragic death at a young age only helped to solidify her status as an icon and symbol for both the art of dance and the generation from whence she came. Not to be confused with television film made in 1966 and directed by Ken Russell that was recently rereleased with the same title.