Recent Posts

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11
Steven Berkoff discussion / Harvey in the West End and the Edinburgh Festival
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 25, 2019, 06:16:55 PM »
Berfkoff intends to bring his one-man show Harvey to the West End as well as the Edinburgh Festival.  Details are here
https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/capital-confidential-weinstein-on-the-west-end-stage-20190325
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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Last post by BoyScoutKevin on March 21, 2019, 06:59:00 PM »
What does not work. What works.

What does not work.
1. The comedy
Unlike his Lair of the White Worm, where what is not suppose to be funny is funny. Here what is suppose to be funny is not funny.

2. Jim in blackface.
That has become so controversial, I am surprised Ken included in this film, especially (IMHO) it has so little effect. Of course, this is 2019, and this film was made in 1995 or some 2 decades earlier.

3. The songs.
Of course, we can't really blame Ken for those, as he did not write them, but if you want to hear something far more effective, then listen to "Sailing for Adventure" and "Cabin Fever," especially "Cabin Fever," in "Muppet's Treasure Island."

What does work.
1. Actually, I don't think anything in the film works that well, especially in comparison to the other films made by Ken.

Next time: conclusion
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Athol Fugard discussion / A Lesson from Aloes in London
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 19, 2019, 12:58:12 PM »
Finborough Theatre present A Lesson from Aloes from 27 Feb- 23 Mar 2019.   The director is Janet Suzman and the actors are Dawid Minnaar (Piet), David Rubin (Steve) and Janine Ulfane (Gladys).

"In the small backyard of a house in a shabby Port Elizabeth suburb, pots of aloe – the desert plant that can thrive in the most barren soil – bear silent witness to a world where trust has been betrayed and destroyed.

South Africa in the 1960s. Apartheid is at its height. Mandela’s ANC has just been banned as a terrorist organisation. Informers are everywhere.
Left leaning Afrikaner Piet and his wife, Gladys, hold a party for their mixed-race friend Steve who has just been released from prison.   But when mistrust creeps into your own backyard, the closest of ties are undone. Who has betrayed this group of friends? And why is one of them on a one way ticket out of the country? ".

Details are here
http://iainfisher.com/fugard/fugard-news.html





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Athol Fugard discussion / Re: Blood Knot in London
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 19, 2019, 12:54:17 PM »
Orange Tree Theatre present Blood Knot from 8 Mar -20 Apr 2019.   Nathan McMullen plays Morrie and Kalungi Ssebandeke plays Zach.  The director is Matthew Xia.

"It’s been a year since Morrie returned to Port Elizabeth to live with his brother Zach. They share childhood memories of their mother, yet have wildly contrasting life experiences due to their different fathers.

Morrie wants to take them away from their township shack, buy a small farm and make a new life. To take their minds off the struggle, they decide Zach needs a pen pal. But who should it be? An innocent game can quickly go wrong...

As things get complicated, the stakes rise: can they free themselves from the enduring prejudices provoked by the different shades of their skin?".

Details are here
http://iainfisher.com/fugard/fugard-news.html




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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Last post by BoyScoutKevin on March 14, 2019, 11:18:33 PM »
I agree on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, a great book with so many memorable scenes- the old pirate at the Admiral Benbow Inn, the black spot, Long John Silver as the friendly cook, the boy hiding with the apples etc etc.

I like his other novels as well, Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (it would be great to read it not knowing the story in advance), and the Scots dialect novels Kidnapped and Catriona.

A lot of the Treasure Island films are pretty boring, I can't remember which ones I have seen.  I did note that Oliver Reed is in one, playing Billy Bones.

No wonder, I don't remember Oliver Reed, as he appeared in the version with Charlton Heston as Silver. I think one of the few film versions I have never seen. It might be worthwhile for me to see if I can find it and watch it, as it also stars Christian Bale as Jim, Christopher Lee as Pew, Richard Johnson as the squire, Julian Glover as the doctor, and Peter Postlethwaite as Merry.

This is not the only time that Charlton Heston and Oliver Reed appeared in the same film. Though, this time, not knowing about Treasure Island, they had no scenes together. They both appeared in 1977's Crossed Swords or the film title for Mark Twain's Prince and the Pauper. Oliver Reed as the hero Miles Hendon and Charlton Heston as Henry VIII.
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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Last post by BoyScoutKevin on March 14, 2019, 11:12:17 PM »
Not in the book
1. Long Jane Silver

2. The doctor as the magistrate, whereas, in the book, it is the squire who is the magistrate.

3. Blind Pew's death
Film: blown up by dynamite
Book: trampled by a horse
Which would you choose?

What is in the book.
For all that is in the film and is not in the book, there are several things that are in both the book and the film. For example: Ben Gunn's fancying cheese.

Next time: what does not work. what does work.
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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Last post by BoyScoutKevin on March 09, 2019, 09:07:10 PM »
Typical Ken and untypical Ken

Typical
1. Russell as the film's narrator.
2. Georgina Hale as Mrs. Hawkins. Ken likes to use the same actors he used in his previous films.

Atypical
1. Blind Pew is played by a black actor. You don't find many black actors in Ken's films.
2. Poncy. The gay pirate. The stereotypical gay pirate. While non-heterosexual characters are often portrayed in Ken's films. Seldom are they played as stereotypes, as they are here.

Next time: not in the book and in the book
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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Last post by BoyScoutKevin on March 09, 2019, 09:00:50 PM »
I agree on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, a great book with so many memorable scenes- the old pirate at the Admiral Benbow Inn, the black spot, Long John Silver as the friendly cook, the boy hiding with the apples etc etc.

I like his other novels as well, Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (it would be great to read it not knowing the story in advance), and the Scots dialect novels Kidnapped and Catriona.

A lot of the Treasure Island films are pretty boring, I can't remember which ones I have seen.  I did note that Oliver Reed is in one, playing Billy Bones.

No wonder, I don't remember Oliver Reed, as he appeared in the version with Charlton Heston as Silver. I think one of the few film versions I have never seen. It might be worthwhile for me to see if I can find it and watch it, as it also stars Christian Bale as Jim, Christopher Lee as Pew, Richard Johnson as the squire, Julian Glover as the doctor, and Peter Postlethwaite as Merry.
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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 05, 2019, 11:31:50 PM »
I agree on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, a great book with so many memorable scenes- the old pirate at the Admiral Benbow Inn, the black spot, Long John Silver as the friendly cook, the boy hiding with the apples etc etc.

I like his other novels as well, Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (it would be great to read it not knowing the story in advance), and the Scots dialect novels Kidnapped and Catriona.

A lot of the Treasure Island films are pretty boring, I can't remember which ones I have seen.  I did note that Oliver Reed is in one, playing Billy Bones.
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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Last post by BoyScoutKevin on March 04, 2019, 10:11:39 PM »
Realism and anachronisms

While Ken's biographical and historical films, such as . . .
Prisoner of Honor -- Gothic -- Valentino -- Lisztomania -- Mahler -- Savage Messiah -- The Devils -- and The Music Lover . . .
have their moments of reality, and . . .

The Boyfriend
. . .which is somewhat exaggerated, is still a fairly realistic look at what goes on on stage and behind the scenes, and while . . .

Lair of the White Worm
. . . is even more exaggerated, there are moments of reality in it. Unlike . . .

Ken Russell's Treasure Island
. . . which is filled with anachronisms. If we date the story in the film from 1765, which the film does.

Anachronisms
cola -- dynamite -- a rifle that fires multiple times without reloading -- slot machines -- stethoscopes -- t-shirts
. . . are all products of the 19th century. And while the . . .
whistle
. . . dates back to the time of the Ancient Greeks, the metal one in the film, again dates back to the 19th century.

Not anachronisms
There are something things seen in the film that may seem like an anachronism, but may not be,  such as . . .
bingo, 16th century Italy -- the cuckoo clock, 18th century Germany --
and while the use of tobacco in Europe dates to the 16th century, the cigar in Europe dates to the middle of the 18th century, so it may or may not be an anachronism.

Next time: typical and atypical Ken
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