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Topic Summary

Posted by: BoyScoutKevin
« on: January 31, 2012, 10:16:44 PM »

I have seen "Valentino" a couple of times, and while it does have its memorable moments, and I like it probably better than most people, it is certainly not my favorite of Ken's films.
Posted by: Rosebud
« on: January 12, 2012, 01:55:05 AM »

Thanks Iain for the Moviedrome list.  A great list of films.  I've seen several of Cox's intros to the series on youtube.  Whether I agree with him or not I love the passion he brings to discussing film.  I felt the same passion when reading his blog on Ken.  It tickled and surprised me a bit that he listed "Valentino" as his favorite Ken Russell film.  I have always liked the film, but I have never heard anyone before call it their favorite.
Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: January 08, 2012, 08:42:52 PM »

PPS Alex Cox's Moviedrome series showing films with good introductionns.  Gothic is there between Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and The Terminator.  The Music Lovers is between Cape Fear and Rumble Fish.

The full list is

The Wicker Man
Electra Glide in Blue
Big Wednesday
Fat City
The Last Picture Show
The Hired Hand
Johnny Guitar
The Parallax View
The Long Hair of Death
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
The Fly (1958)
One From The Heart
The Man Who Fell To Earth
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
One-Eyed Jacks

The Man With The X-Ray Eyes
The Thing From Another World
The Incredible Shrinking Man
California Dolls
THX 1138
Stardust Memories
Night of the Comet
The Grissom Gang
The Big Carnival (Ace in the Hole)
Two-Lane Blacktop
The Buddy Holly Story
Five Easy Pieces
Sweet Smell of Success
Sunset Boulevard

Assault on Precinct 13
Get Carter
Goin’ South
Dead of Night
The Terminator
The Honeymoon Killers
Ulzana's Raid
The Loved One
An American Werewolf in London
A Wedding
The Phenix City Story
Walk on the Wild Side
Il Grande Silenzio
Quien sabe?

The Beguiled
Something Wild
Carnival of Souls
Badlands / The Prowler
At Close Range
The Duellists / Cape Fear (duels)
The Music Lovers
Hells Angels on Wheels / Rumble Fish (gangs)
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

Mad Max II / F for Fake
Dead Ringers / Rabid (Cronenberg)
The Serpent and the Rainbow
Les Diaboliques
La Strategia del Ragno
Escape from New York
Alligator / Q - The Winged Serpent
Wise Blood / The Witchfinder General
Play Misty For Me
The Day of the Locust / The Big Knife (Hollywood satires)

House of Games
Escape from Alcatraz / Un condamné à mort s’est échappé (prison)
The Hill
Cry-Baby / Lenny
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) / Romance of a Horsethief
Gothic/ The Navigator
The Terminator
Get Carter / Week-end
Rebel Without A Cause / 200 Motels
Django / Grim Prairie Tales
Run of the Arrow / Verboten! (Fuller)
The Long Riders
The Big Combo
Face to Face
Qué he heche yo para merecer esto?

1994 (Alex Cox's final year)
The Andromeda Strain / Fiend Without A Face
Talk Radio
Carnal Knowledge
Coogan’s Bluff  The Narrow Margin
The Harder They Come
The People Under the Stairs
Halloween / The Baby
Girl on a Motorcycle / Psychomania (motorcycles)
Race with the Devil / Detour (keep death on the road)
Rope / 84 Charlie Mopic (experimental filming)
To Sleep with Anger / Le MĂ©pris
Excalibur / Nothing Lasts Forever
Naked Tango / Apartment Zero (Buenos Aires)
Major Dundee / Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah)
Kiss Me Deadly

Details from here

Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: January 04, 2012, 11:52:47 PM »

PS never heard of Giulio Questi, looking forward to discovering his work
Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: January 04, 2012, 11:40:37 PM »

Many thanks, I like Alex Cox's views (he did a great series of classic films on the BBC) and has also writen intelligently on films, and has also done some good films.

I like it that Ken liked Kurosawa but had nothing to say.  A pity they didn't take up on the Cocteau.

I always like Alex Cox's off-kilter views.
Posted by: Rosebud
« on: January 04, 2012, 11:17:56 PM »

Alex Cox wrote this short tribute to Ken on his website blog.  I thought it was very interesting.



I met Ken Russell only once, in the doorway of an off-license in Islington. I held the door for him - a big, burly man with long white hair and a scarf, as he headed out into the night with a bottle of wine. That was it. I have no stories to tell, no insights received. Yet he had more influence on me and on my work than almost any filmmaker - not in a stylistic sense, since his films were all amazingly different, but in the sense of his ambition, his epic vision, and in his refusal to bend with the prevailing winds. He was one of the very few real film directors who - like Francis Coppola and Giulio Questi - when the commercial tide of 'mainstream' cineama turned against them, kept on making films. His budgets got smaller and smaller, and his casts less splendid, till he was shooting shorts in his garage. Yet he went on - writing, teaching, planning projects - until the end.

Russell's was the greatest generation of British directors - it included Lindsay Anderson, and Tony Richardson, and John Boorman, and Nik Roeg, and Stanley Kubrick (that honorary Brit) - and one could make the case that he was the most talented and furthest reaching of them all. Who else but Ken could have made those films: violent maalstroms like THE DEVILS, light musical comedies like THE BOYFRIEND, epic tragedies like VALENTINO (which is still my favourite of his films). His weakest work (the only one I didn't like, in fact) was his Hollywood 'drug' epic, ALTERED STATES. Dopey critics lapped it up, but it was a poor work by comparison with his real films -- it was obvious that Russell didn't take halucinogens, because didn't need to! He was tripping permanently, like that other great English visionary, William Blake. Seeing things with greater clarity than most of us, he walked in his own path, following his own star.

Even his more modest later works contain moments of great merit - who can forget Amanda Donahoe in LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM? His great films are among the best motion pictures ever made. How many British directors can be placed in the company of Welles, of Kurosawa, of Cocteau? Ken Russell was the only one, perhaps. Yet he seemed in other ways a humble person, too - who knew how to defer to his creative collaborators (think of Derek Jarman's sets for THE DEVILS! Think of the performances of Reed, Redgrave, and the others), who never forgot that to make an independent film you had to feed the crew - and feed them well.

A few years back I shot a documentary about Kurosawa. It was an opportunity for many film directors (including Coppola, Bertolucci, Arturo Ripstein, John Woo and Mike Hodges, to name only a few) to talk about the great man and his influence on their work. Of all the directors I saught to interview, only Ken Russell turned me down. We discussed the project on the phone; I tried to convince him that his input would be valuable, nay, essential, to my film. "Not at all," Russell replied. "I like Kurosawa, but I have nothing original to say about him. Come back to me when you make a documentary about Cocteau! Then we can talk."

R.I.P. Ken Russell. Thank you so very much.