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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Flipping the script on Britishness
« Last post by Iain Fisher on January 04, 2022, 10:23:50 PM »
Photos from an overlooked photo archive "images of Windrush arrivals and jazz club romances challenge the traditional narrative about what it means to be British".

Interesting photos including "London by Ken Russell, 1954... street scenes of the 1950s.

More details are here

Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / most hated book
« Last post by Iain Fisher on December 29, 2021, 03:39:31 AM »
Famous Brits pick their most-hated books, by Mark Frauenfelder, 27 Dec 2021

Ken's choice is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

"It has a huge reputation as a masterpiece, but I found it to be a fascist tirade about how wonderful American tycoons are in business. Still, it is very cleverly written."

The article is here

Sam Jordison in The Guardian 27 Mar 2019 says "Ayn Rand's libertarian rant is unpleasant, daft and deeply flawed. I hated it - but I couldn't put it down"
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Re: A Kitten for Hitler / On Ken Russell
« Last post by Iain Fisher on December 25, 2021, 10:59:05 PM »
"A Kitten for Hitler: the most offensive Christmas film ever made" according to Tim Robey in The Times, 24 Dec 2021

The link is here
(behind a paywall)
Sarah Kane discussion / Phaedra Eros in Greece
« Last post by Iain Fisher on December 25, 2021, 01:05:34 AM »
Phaedra's Love (Phaedra Eros) is on at the Spendoni Theatre in Athens on 29-30 Dec 2021.

"A bold and provocative revision of the myth through Phaedra's persistent and destructive passion for her adopted son Hippolytus. The work reveals the violent nature of love through the dysfunction of a sexually corrupt royal family in a society whose religion is the worship of celebrities".

More details are here

Sarah Kane discussion / Cleansed in Antwerp, Belgium
« Last post by Iain Fisher on December 17, 2021, 09:37:36 PM »
A student production of Cleansed at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen.

"Dahlia Pessemiers Benamar en Oscar Van Rompay werken samen met de studenten Acteren bachelor 2 en 3 aan twee aparte voorstellingen. De voorstellingen worden elk vier keer gespeeld".

It is on from 20-23 Dec 2021.
More details are here
The Many Lives of Kathleen Turner by Keaton Bell, in Vogue 13 Dec 2021

Kathleen Turner on Ken, Anthony Perkins and Crimes of Passion

"Ken Russell was one of a kind. He wanted to bring the lives of all the great composers to the screen, like the one about Tchaikovsky with Richard Chamberlain [1971’s The Music Lovers]. That’s what he saw as his essential work. But in between those, Ken had to make Hollywood films because he didn’t wanna lose his place in the zeitgeist. He wanted to have one foot in Hollywood’s door, which meant he shot himself in that foot a lot on something like Crimes of Passion.

I understand it was a pretty chaotic set.

Anthony Perkins was a nightmare. It was such a shame to watch—he would huff benzyl nitrate before every take.

Like poppers?

No, those are amyl nitrate. These were one down, but the effect is very much the same. Anthony would break into sweats, turn bright red, and start mumbling very fast and incoherently. Anything we’d rehearsed before the scene would completely go out the window. And Ken was hardly one to criticize him because he was always drunk.

How does a budding actor navigate a set like that?

With difficulty. But Ken was a genius, and I wanted to work with him".

The article is on the Vogue website here

The page on Crimes of Passion is here

An article on nunsploitation film, with the top 18.  Actually at times it is quite insightful.

"This fascination, typically referred to in film form as nunsploitation, pops up in the work of polarizing auteurs (Ken Russell and, with Benedetta, now Paul Verhoeven), pornographers (Jesús Franco), and, naturally, auteur pornographers (Walerian Borowczyk)."

The article then gives the top 18 films.  Of the ones I know:

15 To The Devil a Daughter (1976).  A Hammer film with Christopher Lee so of course of interest

8 Häxan (1922).  A silent film part documentary part re-enacted history

4 Black Narcissus (1947).  A Powell-Pressburger film, quite classic

2 Mother Joan of the Angels (1960)
Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz with a similar story as Ken’s The Devils.  Interesting film.

1 The Devils by Ken Russell (1971)
“like Black Narcissus before it, The Devils is a feverish and damning indictment of the Church’s marriage of mutual convenience to the state and the political expediency of blasphemy”

“Russell knows who his villains are and he’s careful here, balancing Sister Jeanne’s viciousness and depravity with her repressed sexuality and horrifying victimhood. She exercises the lone malignant power accessible to her — to accuse a man of devil worship and possession — and instigates events that not only further subjugate her but destroy Loudon itself. For a tragic figure, she’s no object of pity”

The article is by Elle Carroll, 6 Dec 2021 on the Vulture website click here

Athol Fugard discussion / Boesman and Lena film at Lincoln Centre, NY
« Last post by Iain Fisher on December 07, 2021, 06:44:51 PM »
Boesman and Lena film at Lincoln Centre, NY on 6 Dec 2021.
Details are here
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / The Music Lovers on The Criterion Channel
« Last post by Iain Fisher on December 06, 2021, 07:19:34 PM »
The Criterion Channel have a season of Glenda Jackson films, one of which is The Music Lovers.  Not sure which regions it covers or dates- for non-members there is limited information.  Other Glenda films included are The Maids and Sunday Bloody Sunday both of which are recommended.

The Criterion blurb on The Music Lovers has the usual shoddy clichés- "gloriously bonkers spectacle of madness".
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Oliver Reed snubbed for blue plaque
« Last post by Iain Fisher on December 05, 2021, 03:17:29 PM »
Christopher Hastings writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper reports that Oliver Reed has been turned down for a blue plaque because " his legacy in the field of acting was not sufficiently strong".  Blue plaques are meant to celebrate notable figures and the places they lived and worked.

The article says “A committee at the charity – which has been accused of political correctness – rejected a bid to honour the hell-raising star of films including Oliver!, Women In Love and Gladiator, despite many considering him a towering figure in British cinema.”

Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam is quoted as saying “… this is crazy. Ollie was a monument to everything that was wonderful at that time in England. I think this decision proves our culture is being invaded by close-minded idealogues with no idea of either history or uniqueness.’

The article by Christopher Hastings in the Mail on Sunday, 5 Dec 2021 is here
People who were awarded a blue plaque this year include Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets
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