'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

29 November 2011

Ken Russell RIP

Rest In Peace Ken.
The 27th. November 2011 saw the death of Ken Russell aged 84 (born July 3 1927) who has been and still remains one of my favourite directors. An extraordinary man of abundant talent. He was exuberant, indulgent, joyful and with a keen sense of humour. Russell made films that entertained and informed at the same time. Surreal imagery painted a picture of his subject more clearly than a straight narrative. He implanted visions in your brain that remained with you to contemplate and remember what you saw. Some of his films spoke personally to me, some made me want to stand and cheer, some made me squirm and some were just plain sexy.

These are my DVD's from the great Ken Russell.

Elgar (1962), The Debussy Film (1965), Always on Sunday (Rousseau 1965), Isodora: The Biggest Dancer in the World (1966), Dante's Inferno (1967), Song of Summer (Delius1968), Women in Love (1969), The Music Lovers (1970), The Devils (1971), The Boyfriend (1971), Savage Messiah (1972), Mahler (1974), Tommy (1975), Lisztomania (1975), Valentino (1977), Altered States (1980), Gothic (1986), Aria (Nessun Dorma segment 1987), Salome's Last Dance (1988), The Lair of the White Worm (1988), The Rainbow (1989), The Fall of the Louse of Usher (2002).
Ken Russell irritated some, but inspired many others and in his later years suffered as Glenda Jackson said from 'criminal neglect.' Some of his work was not to everyone's taste, but certainly he matched mine and people with a sense of the visual and the absurd.  In his many musician's biographies he paid stunning homage to some of the great composers. I adored him. My only indirect links to him were, a meeting I had with Glenda Jackson who starred in several of his films, a party I had for Lindsay Kemp who starred in Savage Messiah and another friend who is a wonderful director of film and stage who did classes with him many years ago. Always entertaining and on many occasions inspiring, he happily and fearlessly used beautiful nudity. Some examples below.

Ken Russell Autobiography Parts 1 and 2

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