Author Topic: Questions. We Have Questions.  (Read 6178 times)

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Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2010, 08:31:48 PM »
5th Question

"Mahler"

What Russell makes no direct comparison between Mahler in "Mahler" and Tchaikovsky in "The Music Lovers" from the films themselves, can we say which composer and musician, Mahler or Tchaikovsky, did Russell regard as being the better composer and musician?

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 11:41:22 PM »
4th Question

"Tommy"

Tommy was physically abused by Cousin Kevin in the film, and he was apparently sexually abused by Uncle Ernie. Is it possible to say that one abuse is worse than the other, or are they equally bad forms of abuse?

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2010, 12:54:13 AM »
3rd Question

"Lisztomania"

In the film, Ken seems to be implying that of the two composers in the film, Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner, Liszt was the greater composer of the two, with Wagner obtaining whatever musical talent he had from sucking it out of Liszt. Is Ken correct in his supposition, or is he incorrect? Was Wagner the greater composer of the two?

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 07:37:46 PM »
Thank-you for that reply. And, perhaps, the term "early films" is incorrect. Perhaps, the term "his first dozen films" would be more correct, as we work down those films. Well, certainly I have found any meaning in Russell's "first dozen films" to be harder to interpret than the films of today, such as James Cameron's "Avatar" and Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," where the director's meaning seems to be much clearer to me. Thank-you again for the reply.

2nd Question

"Valentino"

Perhaps, not the worst of his first dozen films or so, but is this his most disappointing film in relationship to what it might have been? Should we have expected more from a film directed by Russell?

Offline regal26

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 07:20:16 PM »
Remember that by 1980 Ken Russell had been directing films for almost twenty years (eleven feature films and numerous television productions) before 'Altered States' so it's not really an early film.

With a film like 'Altered States' you essentially have Ken Russell responding visually to an over-talkative script by Paddy Chayevsky (the oft-circulated rumor is that Russell was the twenty-seventh director hired for the job!)

So how is one to judge if a work's meaning is obscure or not? Since any work of art can have multiple interpretations, the meaning ultimately rests in how you respond personally to it.

If an artist deliberately tries to make their work obscure, then there probably isn't much there to begin with. Personally I believe that Russell, like many artists, is not chasing after conceptual ideas but is creating an intutive visual response to the art that inspires him (the music of Tchaikovsky, the sculpture of Gaudier-Brzeska, Oscar Wilde etc.).

To quote  Russell's film Mahler. When the composer says he wants a place where he can breathe again and a news reporter suggests its heart trouble, Mahler replies 'Why is everyone so literal these days? I was speaking metaphorically.'

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 07:54:29 PM »
Every now and then, I'll have a question about one of Russell's early theatrical films, beginning with his 1980 "Altered States." If anybody wants to try to answer the question, that is fine, and if nobody wants to try to answer the question, that is also fine. Thus, first . . .

"Altered States"

In some of the early films, the meaning of the film is sometimes somewhat obscure. Thus, of his early films, is "Altered States," the one with the most obscure meaning?