View Full Version : Ken Russell

John G.
02-11-2011, 10:38 AM
This thread is an attempt to rectify a glaring oversight in the Director's Chair forum... the lack of a thread on Ken Russell! :eek:

Here is a filmmaker who is controversial for his juxtaposition of high and low culture, his often vulgar humor and phallic-obsessed imagery with his fascination with art and artists (classical composers, D.H. Lawrence, etc.), all handled with his wonderful and impassioned directing style. Russell's films sometimes strike viewers as overwrought but I delight in his merry surrealism, his often subversive energies and his cheeky sense of humor.

Top 5:

1. The Music Lovers
2. The Devils
3. Women in Love
4. Altered States
5. Gothic

Edit: Amazing that a Top 5 leaves off the wonderful Tommy, but there you go. :)

Troy Howarth
02-11-2011, 10:54 AM
I'm so hot and cold on him - I love some of his films, can't stomach the others...

1. The Devils
2. Women in Love
3. Lair of the White Worm
4. Crimes of Passion
5. Gothic

John G.
02-11-2011, 11:12 AM
Crimes of Passion is a fun film for sure, but I think that its quirky and often playfully self-parodic moves (casting Perkins in the "Psycho" role is not so much type-casting as a comic wink to the audience) caused it to ruin Russell's chances of having a career in Hollywood. As a result, you have a retreat to lower budgeted work (similar to John Carpenter in the late 80s actually).

Troy Howarth
02-11-2011, 11:26 AM
It certainly didn't do him any favors, though I doubt Russell could ever have made much of a go at it in the Hollywood studio system.

Daniel M
02-11-2011, 02:24 PM
So many great films. THE DEVILS would be my favorite, but I love GOTHIC and LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM as well. CRIMES OF PASSION was fun.

Trivia - I was talking to Tobe Hooper about NIGHT TERRORS a few years ago, and he told me he took on the assignment because he saw it as a chance to "do a Ken Russell sort of picture."

02-28-2011, 11:04 PM
The Devils is awesome! Really liked Lair of The White Worm and Crimes of Passion also. I can dig Tommy. I saw altered states a long long time ago and remember not liking it, but I would like to revisit it. And thats all the Ken Russel i've seen.

Matthew BB
02-28-2011, 11:52 PM
VALENTINO- it's so crazy that his biopic is basically a freaky horror film. Wouldn't be out of place sharing a double bill with SANTA SANGRE, even if the latter would get gore hounds worked up for Russell's film for all the wrong reasons. Those restrained enough to welcome the combo will be head fucked by the displays of crazed entertainers parading through a seamy and loud urban nightmare.

Ian Miller
03-01-2011, 05:33 AM
Re-watching TOMMY again recently for the first time in a while, I really felt (finally!) that I was in on the gag, so to speak. Russell's visual sense when he was really cooking is 100% his. Showgirls in gas masks!

Mr. Gargo: which is the DVD version of TOMMY to get? 2-disc? Ultrabit? Help!

John G.
03-01-2011, 06:54 AM
I actually haven't seen the 2-disc version (a shame for such a Russell fanatic, I know, but I've only been region free for a couple of months) but the Region 1 blu-ray, while barebones, looks and sounds stunning. It's not too expensive, although there is a chance that the UK will eventually port over the extras on their own special edition to their own blu-ray in the future (I believe there's a commentary track as well). I'm guessing that it'll probably be region locked, though...

Ian Miller
03-01-2011, 06:22 PM
DVD, not Blu Ray! Thanks, though.