Author Topic: Upcoming Books  (Read 2561 times)

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Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Upcoming Books
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 10:26:14 PM »
I did say previously, that I wanted to say something on Ken's "Best/Worst," but I'd thought I get this out first.

Title: "Ken Russell: Reviewing England's Last Mannerist" Author: Keith M. Flannagan, editor. Publisher: Scarecrow Press. Release Date: September 28, 2009.

Supposedly, the first collection of essays on Ken and his films in thirty years.
I know there will be essays on "Tommy" and "Lady Chatterley's Lover." Other than that, I don't know or don't remember. Not so much information about the next one.

No title. Author: Paul Sutton. No publisher. Release Date: 2010.

Supposedly, another biography, but this is suppose to be the "official biography." If it is, and as it will be up to date, it will make a nice contrast and comparison to Joseph Lanza's "Phallic Frenzy."

Until then, here are the six best books I have found about Ken and/or his films.

Joseph Lanza. "Phallic Frenzy"

Strengths: No one is better at getting what makes Russell Russell, and thus what makes Russell's films Russell's Films.

Weaknesses: He needs a better fact checker. I found at least four factual errors in his chapter on "Lair of the White Worm" and one factual error in his chapter on "Mahler."

Ken Hanke. "Ken Russell's Films"

Weaknesses: It's out of date.

Strengths: The opinions expressed make a nice contrast to those in Lanza's book.

Thomas R. Atkins, editor. "Ken Russell"

Weaknesses: Even more out of date than the previous book.

Strengths: Again the opinions are worth noting. For example: Ken's "Women in Love" is one of his favorite films for both audiences and critics, because it is one of his most homogenous films.

L. D. Friedman. "Fires Were Started"

The authors points out, like so many British directors during the '80's, how political Ken was and thus how political his films were. But, the author also points out, how ambivalent Ken was on the subject.

John McCarty. "The Modern Horror Film"

Only Roman Polanski gets more space in this book, as three of Ken's films are commented on: "The Devils," "Gothic," and "Lair of the White Worm." For example: the author comments on how clearly Lady Sylvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe) is the cleverest character in "Lair of the White Worm,"  but how she is constantly being upstaged by characters not as clever as her. Even a homely boy scout, who is something of a dullard and a dupe, gets the better of her, when he picks up his mouth organ and begins to play.

James Ursini. "More Things Than Are Dreamt Of"

The author only covers Ken's "Lair of the White Worm, but he does provide the best comparison I've seen yet of the characters in Bram Stoker's book and Ken Russell's film. For example: how one of the villains in the book becomes one of the heroes in the film.

Next time: "Best/Worst"