A Stravinsky Portrait


  • An intimate view of the twentieth century’s most influential composer at home in California reviewing his work and its evolution with Rolf Liebermann, conducting an orchestra rehearsal in Hamburg, holding a press conference in London, and discussing creativity with his old friend George Balanchine. Also contains footage of Balanchine rehearsing a new version of Stravinsky’s “Le Noces” with ballerina Suzanne Farrell.


    When Leacock flew out to Beverly Hills to meet and film Igor Stravinsky, he was told to get a good sound person, but instead he called a friend, Sarah Hudson, not only because she was an good friend—and very attractive—and someone who he could teach to record sound, but because he knew Stravinsky would adore her, which he did.


    The challenge for Ricky was the many languages spoken in the Stravinsky household—French, German, even Russian when Nabokov appeared. How could he expect people to understand what was going on if he didn’t himself? But these mixed layers of languages, like the music that accompanies them, seem natural, even when one has to guess at their meanings. Happily Leacock whispers in your ear along the way, which gives the film a sense of personal discovery.


    D A Pennebaker

  • A film by Richard Leacock and Rolf Lieberman 1965, 58 min., B&W. A Film by RICHARD LEACOCK and ROLF LIEBERMAN Camera RICHARD LEACOCK Sound SARAH HUDSON Edited by RICHARD LEACOCK PRODUCED and ROLF LIEBERMAN Directed by RICHARD LEACOCK