This biographical film of Czech composer Martinu is in two parts: the first part a recurring dream, the second a Freudian analysis of the dream. The dream is without real dialogue, starting with stock Russell themes: a...展开kite, wartime lovers dancing (Mindbender), children in sailor suits.
Martinu, played by Patrick Ryecart (also in Prisoners of Honor), wakes and his hand is covered with ants. He brushes them off and heads towards a (phallic) lighthouse. A nude girl is always before him as he climbs the steps. This image repeats itself in various forms. Other imagery includes Picasso images of dancing circus players and the menacing minotaur. When Martinu and wife exchange gifts he is given a tiny piano, and she is given a sewing machine which is of course a Singer make. Later he sits legs astride the tiny piano composing. And the actors filmed through the lighthouse lens.
The children are similar to those dancing in Isadora Duncan, and of course there is a Nazi- but no nuns. There is much good Russell work in this film, and it improves with repeated viewing. Surprisingly however the music does not come out. Martinu is a superb composer, but in the film it could almost be film music: there is little of Russell's ability to match the music to the image. Producer is Maureen Murray (who appears in English Folk Song), editor is Xavier Russell, camera work is by Ken himself (credited as Alf), costumes are Victoria Russell and director of Photography is Robin Vidgeon. Russell's project Angels, which was never made, was based on Georges Neveus´s play Julierre which Martinu made into an opera.