William Walton: at the Haunted End of the Day
Presented in conjunction with the Two Moors Festival and introduced by the director, Tony Palmer. 1 hour 39 minutes, cert PG13.
A vivid and candid documentary about William Walton, made near the end of his life, Tony Palmer’s profile, winner of the Italia Prize, is “among the most moving ever made of a composer” (Gramophone magazine). The title is taken from one of the most striking of the arias in Walton’s opera Troilus and Cressida, and reflects a vein of melancholy running through his work, although the impact of the film is anything but depressing, with Walton’s humour much to the fore, and contributions from Laurence Olivier, the Sitwells, Julian Bream and many others.
Tony Palmer is an internationally acclaimed director of films about performers. He has won numerous international prizes for his work, and is the only person to have won the Italia Prize, television’s most coveted award, three times. Following an apprenticeship with Ken Russell and Jonathan Miller, his first major film, Benjamin Britten and his Festival, became the first BBC film to be networked in the USA and his second, All my Loving, achieved considerable notoriety overnight. In 1989 he was awarded a retrospective of his work at the National Film Theatre in London, the first maker of arts films to be so honoured. He has made over 100 films on subjects as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Cream and The Beatles to Benjamin Britten, Margot Fonteyn and Athol Fugard, has written several books and directed in theatres and opera houses around the world. He presented the Radio 3 programme Night Waves for which he won a Sony award for best arts programme. We are delighted to welcome him to Chagford to introduce his film.