Author Topic: Questions. We Have Questions.  (Read 6242 times)

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Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2010, 11:59:07 PM »
Of course, as always, I appreciate your answers to my questions. It's good to get someone's opinions on one of my favorite subjects.

And yes, I have more questions upcoming. And these will not be on Ken's films, but on Ken himself and his fans. But there are a couple of Kenish Russellian subjects I want to discuss, before I post anymore questions.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2010, 05:54:22 PM »
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I think we can all agree, that the two sequels to "The Ipcress File," do not come up to the original, but of the two sequels: "Funeral in Berlin," and "Billion Dollar Brain," which was directed by Russell, which one is the better sequel?

I am afraid I think Ken's film is really bad, so Funeral in Berlin gets my vote.
Billion Dollar Brain just lacks a sense of adventure and tension, so it plods on.  Even the references to Soviet film maker Eisenstein (the army on the ice as the ice breaks) doesn't work.  I can't think of an "action film" by Ken.

The action parts of Altered States are the weaker parts (the strong parts are the visual imagery such as in the cave with the tribesmen).  Whore maybe comes close in term of genre but again it is more a thoughtful film.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2010, 12:15:05 AM »
"And that's that."

No more questions?  It is always fun to look at aspects of Ken and his work, and you come up with different persepctives.  Some more please.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2010, 12:10:58 AM »
"Who is the hero in [Women in Love]? Rupert Birkin (Alan Bates) or Gerald Crich (Oliver Reed?) Or, are they both the hero? Just opposite sides of the same coin".

Maybe I am biased but for me Glenda Jackson is the person the film revolves around (my bias is I like her as an actress in film and on stage, not that she is my member of parliament!!).  Then Bates and Reed are both perfect in their roles.  Of course Reed is higher in my affection just because of all he did with Ken.

Alan Bates was a very underrated actor.  A very shy and modest man, he deserved more credit then he got generally.
Ollie was also a very shy and modest man... no he wasn't.  I read the biography Evil Spirits- until almost the end, his drinking affected his private life (very sad), but not his professional life.  I am still amazed he got a million for Gladiator.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions. Q7
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2010, 11:56:55 PM »
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Is it possible to like both Russell's film [The Boyfriend] and Wilson's play, or are they so different, to like one is to dislike the other?

I've not seen The Boyfriend on stage (if I get a chance I will) though I guess I will be a bit disappointed.  Conversely I can imagine if you love the musical on stage it will be hard to see it chopped into pieces with another plot running through it, as the film does.  Actually I'd love to get a lover of the musical to give their opinion.  The musical ran for over 2000 performances (according to Wikipedia) but isn't performed much now.  Neither is The Boyfriend.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2010, 01:51:06 AM »
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"French Dressing"  Does his first theatrical film give any indication of the film genius that Russell would become?

I really like the film but if I didn't know his previous television I wouldn't have seen him becoming as great as he is.  Scenes I really like (from memory) are the opening scene on the pier, especially the cyclist riding the length of the pier, also the scene in the cinema (was it?) and the rowing boats under the pier.  The naive romance of the two main characters is different from most films.

But if I compare it to the first Polanski film (Knife in the Water) it is nowhere near the artistry of Polanski.  Presumably he was unused to the film world, because his enormous television out before French Dressing was very sophisticated.

Despite this criticism it remains a quirky favourite of mine.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 12:17:57 AM by Iain Fisher »

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2010, 10:26:29 PM »
12th Question

"French Dressing"

Does his first theatrical film give any indication of the film genius that Russell would become?

And that's that.

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2010, 10:38:47 PM »
11th Question

"Billion Dollar Brain"

I think we can all agree, that the two sequels to "The Ipcress File," do not come up to the original, but of the two sequels: "Funeral in Berlin," and "Billion Dollar Brain," which was directed by Russell, which one is the better sequel?

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2010, 12:10:57 AM »
10th question

"Women in Love"

Who is the hero in the film? Rupert Birkin (Alan Bates) or Gerald Crich (Oliver Reed?) Or, are they both the hero? Just opposite sides of the same coin.

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2010, 10:13:28 PM »
9th question

"The Music Lovers"

Excluding "The Devils," of the theatrical films he made between 1964 and 1980, is this is darkest in tone?

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2010, 10:24:34 PM »
8th Question

"The Devils"

If the theme of the perversion and use of religion in the name of politics was completely excised from the film, would we still have a film called "The Devils?"

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2010, 08:20:24 PM »
Certainly, Sandy Wilson was not happy with Ken Russell's film version of his play "The Boyfriend," thus . . .

7th Question

Is it possible to like both Russell's film and Wilson's play, or are they so different, to like one is to dislike the other?

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2010, 10:47:57 PM »
Thank-you for your opinions on Wagner and Liszt. I do like the music of both composers, though I might like the music of Wagner a little more that I like the music of Liszt.

And your opinion on Russell's opinion of Wagner and Liszt matches my own, which makes me wonder if Wagner's anti-semitism, whatever its degree, doesn't make Russell slight Wagner in flavor of Liszt.

Thank-you again for your opinions. And now . . .

6th Question

"Savage Messiah"

Of all the movies Ken made up to 1980, is there a more autobiographical film than this one?

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 12:51:45 AM »
An addition.

Wagner is associated with anti-semitism.  Hitler used Wagner a lot, and today it is almost impossible to perform Wagner in Israel.  There is controversy as to whether Wagner was particularly anti-semitic (so more anti-semitic than was normal in his time).

Ken attacks anti-semitism (good!!) and this comes out in Mahler with Ken's attack on Wagner's wife Cosima (generally regarded as anti-semitic), as well as Ken's banned film on Strauss.

I am always intrigued by the relation between views I do not like (racism, facicsm), and artistry.  For example I love the paintings of the Italian Furturists, most of whom were fascists, as well as the poetry of Ezra Pound who famously broadcast on Italy's fascist radio.  I hate their politics and love their artistry.

It is late, I am rambling.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Questions. We Have Questions.
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 09:50:36 PM »
Question three, Wagner versus Liszt.

Just my opinion, but I like Wagner and rate him considerably higher than Liszt, but that is not to say Liszt is poor.

Liszt is best known for his piano works.  The Hungarian Rhapsodies are a good place to start.

Wagner composed almost solely operas, but these are generally massive works.  The Ring Cycle, made up of four operas, is an amazing event.  More than 15 hours of music over four days, and a story involving giants, gods, etc.  It is hard not to be impressed after seeing a ring cycle (I have been lucky enough to see two on stage).

Ken obviously likes Liszt.  But Wagner?  I suspect not.