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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Tommy at the BFI in London
« Last post by Iain Fisher on December 03, 2019, 01:09:00 AM »
Wow, I wish I had been in the audience
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Tommy at the BFI in London
« Last post by BoyScoutKevin on December 01, 2019, 06:44:24 PM »
I can add that the audience rushing the stage in Elton's Pinball Wizard was not planned. It was a spontaneous gesture made by the audience extras.
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Twiggy on Ken and the lost Wishing Tree film
« Last post by Iain Fisher on November 28, 2019, 07:14:57 PM »
A very good interview of Twiggy on 27 Nov 2019 by Nick Knight.

She talks of how she was a model and one day got a phone call from Ken who she didn't know personally but as she says he was the most acclaimed director then.  Ken offered her a role in a film based on William Faulkner's The Wishing Tree [an obscure Faulkner 1927 children's book now book out of print].  The film would have music by Paul McCartney.  Sadly the film did not go ahead.

Twiggy says she was an extra in The Devils, then one day she saw the musical The Boyfriend on stage, and told Ken how good it was.  He phoned her the next day to say he was going to film it with her starring.  She was sent on dancing and singing lessons but not acting lessons, as Ken wanted her as she was.

A very good recommended interview and she brings out her admiration of Ken and her friendship with him.

The link is here
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Tommy at the BFI in London
« Last post by Iain Fisher on November 27, 2019, 11:41:27 PM »
I saw Tommy at the BFI, so good to see it on a cinema screen.  And despite previous warning of French subtitles, the BFI seem to have found a good copy as there were no subtitles.

Best scenes are of course the set pieces, Tina Turner's Acid Queen, Elton's Pinball Wizard, a drugged out Eric Clapton in the Marilyn Monroe church performing Eyesight for the Blind.

The BFI programme by Frank Miller mentions then newcomer George Lucas was asked to direct, but he chose to do American Graffiti instead.  Candidates for the Pinball Wizard were Tiny Tim and Rod Stewart, and for the Acid Queen a candidate was Bowie. Christopher Lee was originally in the role that Jack Nicholson took on.
Athol Fugard discussion / Re: 'Master Harold'... and the boys in London
« Last post by Iain Fisher on November 09, 2019, 10:25:22 PM »
The actors Hammed Animashuan and Lucian Msamati talk about their involvement in the National Theatre's 'Master Harold'... and the Boys.

The talk is on 18 Nov 2019.  Details are here
Athol Fugard discussion / 'Master Harold'... and the boys in London
« Last post by Iain Fisher on November 09, 2019, 10:16:22 PM »
'Master Harold'... and the boys in presented in London's National Theatre to 17 Dec 2019.
The actors are Hammed Animashaun (Willie), Lucian Msamati (Sam) and Anson Boon (Hally).  The director is Roy Alexander Weise.

The production is highly recommended.

Details are here

Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Portrait of a Goon online
« Last post by Iain Fisher on October 22, 2019, 09:36:59 PM »
While there were other members of The Goons and guest appearances, the 2 main members, besides Spike Milligan, were Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers.

Michael Bentine was the final member, a comedian with a sense of humour similar to Milligan, but he has now been mostly forgotten.  There is a pub in London near where I used to work with a plaque for the Goons, as they wrote their first scripts in a room above the pub.

The Goons were a major influence on Monty Python, and Milligan has a cameo in Life of Brian.
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Black Hole
« Last post by Iain Fisher on October 22, 2019, 09:28:20 PM »
In Chris Wade's documentary on Ken, Xavier Russell says Ken was offered The Black Hole but turned it down.  It featured (but not starring) his friend Anthony Perkins.

imdb summarised the film "A research vessel finds a missing ship, commanded by a mysterious scientist, on the edge of a black hole.".  One scene is described as "V.I.N.CENT. defeats the robot Maximillian by boring through his mid-section with a high powered drill bit. This is similar to how Maximillian killed Dr Durant, so it would seem an appropriate end for the robot."

It sounds like it could be Billion Dollar Brain in space.  I can't see Ken making anything of it.
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Ken Russell Portrait of a Maverick film
« Last post by Iain Fisher on October 22, 2019, 07:44:14 PM »
Ken Russell Portrait of a Maverick is a documentary by Chris Wade. The film gives an overview of Ken’s childhood and career, and has interviews with Xavier Russell (Ken’s son who edited some of Ken’s films), Judith Paris, Emma Millions and (voice only) Scott Antony.

Xavier gives some good insight into Ken’s working such as how he edits.  He also mentions the friendship between Ken and Coppola, and Scorsese (who would send Ken copies of his latest films), as well as Fellini’s admiration of Ken.  He also mentions Ken’s mixed feelings about Kubrick.

Judith Paris brings out how devoted she is to the work of Ken and mentions his insistence on lots of takes.  As well as in films, she worked with Ken in the theatre.

Emma Millions covers the last films of Ken.  She gives examples of Ken’s inventiveness such as when they had to find a way of portraying a castle collapsing (The Fall of the Louse of Usher) and he came up with the idea of using a bouncy castle.  She also touchingly tells how she burst into tears when she overheard someone say Ken had just died.

The film is just over 55 minutes.  You can buy the DVD or the download here
The site has a short online trailer you can watch.


Athol Fugard discussion / Statements at the Fugard Theatre
« Last post by Iain Fisher on October 21, 2019, 11:32:28 PM »
Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act is at the Fugard Theatre in South Africa to 26 Oct 2019.

"Written in 1972, Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act is set in apartheid South Africa, where relationships across the colour bar were a criminal offence. Two lovers – a coloured man and white woman meet secretly in the library where the woman works to make love and share their hopes and fears. A neighbour reports them to the police who secretly photograph them from the informant's backyard and eventually break in and arrest the couple under the inhuman and universally pilloried Immorality Act. The play is a compelling and deeply moving love story in which the physically and emotionally naked lovers expose not only their bodies but also their deepest longings for personal and emotional freedom."

The actors are Marlo Minnaar, Liezl de Kock and the voice of AndrĂ© Odendaal.  The director is Greg Karvellas.

Details are here
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