Delius - Song Of Summer

Delius - Song Of Summer

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Amber Wilkinson's film review of Delius - Song Of Summer

This is a lovingly assembled DVD which, although lacking extras, holds a lot of merit.

The picture is clear and crisp, showing little sign of having been shot in 1968, and while it is in black-and-white, with mono sound, this is to be expected in a film of its age. I would argue that the monochrome shooting enhances Russell's vision.

Copy picture

It is disappointing that there are no subtitles on the disk, particularly as it is in Region 0, but the director's commentary is an absolute gem. It affords the viewer an insight into what makes one of Britain's most controversial directors tick, allowing Russell to discuss his interest in the process of creation and classical music and providing clues as to his cinematic technique. He claims his time in ballet stood him in good stead, as he likes the camera to dance around each scene, a lovely image.

Russell also fills in some background regarding Eric Fency, co-scriptwriter and author of the book on which the film was based, who, it seems, lived a life forever tainted by his experiences in the Delius home.

The director's biography is interesting and detailed, but as ever the print is too small - when will DVD manufacturers learn we don't all have 20/20 vision? The box and disk, too, deserve a mention as this film is lovingly packaged, including sleeve notes and a chapter guide.

Even if you have never heard of Delius, I would recommend Song Of Summer as a cleverly constructed portrait of human frailty and artistic achievement.

Reviewed on: 18 Jan 2002
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Delius - Song Of Summer packshot
The last days of Delius, as seen through the eyes of his musical assistant, Eric Fenby.
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Product Code: BFIVD518

Region: 0

Ratio: 4:3

Sound: Mono

Extras: Director

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