Ken Russell is currently in pre
production of an underground film project called Leomania. This is a true bizarre story in
the 1930īs of the rector of Stiffkey known as the 'prostitutes
padre'. David Bedford has already written an opera on the padre
and there is a biography by Harold Davidson. Diana Laurie will
play the lead, a reporter from the Skegness Sentinel newspaper.
More details when available!! Thanks to Victoria
Russell for the information.
Filming of Leomania started
Sorry I haven't got back to you
for a while - but I have got some news to tell you regarding
Leomania. Hellen got a letter from Ken a couple of weeks ago
asking if she could get some of the Portsmouth crowd together to
go to his house to do some filming. Six of us went to see him on
last Sunday dressed in our best efforts of 30's gear armed with a
picnic to be in a background scene. We all ended up being right
at the front and in shot!! It was quite a surreal day!! The first scene was of the
barrel containing the rector with Ken himself acting the
part of Ring Master.
A crowd gathers as
the rector begins his philosophy and bursts into song, the crowd
then begin dancing until a policeman comes along and requires the
rector to move along. At this point the Ring Master invites the
crowd to come along to the fair on Sunday and witness the rector
preaching from a cage of lions. Diane was also there to help
along with Ken's son and his Assistant Director. Apparently
the film is to be released on the internet!!! That's
all for now, will let you know if I hear more!!
Andi and the Fox Den
Sorry I haven't been in touch
for a while. It's all been pretty hectic over here. We have
pretty much finished shooting 'Leomania' - all bar a few inserts
to be filmed now and editing commences straight away basically
with Ken cutting the stuff on a system called 'Casablanca'.
Good news. Melvyn Bragg heard
about the project and has commissioned Ken to do a South Bank
show on his foray into the underground film world. Hopefully to
be screened in November it
will include footage of 'Leomania' as well as clips from some of
Ken's fave underground movies.
There was a piece in the Evening
Standard here in London about
the shooting of 'Leomania'
- quite funny. It
can be found on the online Standard site which is called 'This is
London'. Just put the name Ken Russell into their search engine
and you should find the article OK
I'll let you have any more news as I get it
From Emma x
||Marie with her Lion
costume being dried ("Sooty nude"), Ken and
(from This is London)
Editing and new title
The film will not be called
'Leomania', at present it is called Lionīs Mouth. Ken is now
editing the film and also prepping a project for Melvyn Bragg- a documentary on Volcano, the underground film festival. To air
in November. Clips from the film will be shown.
(Thanks to Victoria Russell for the information).
||From the filming of Lionīs Mouth
Diana Laurie with Kenīs dog Nipper. Previous work by
Nipper includes "In Search of the English Folk
right: The hazards of
filming at home: Diana Laurie with Ken cleaning up dog
shit from his drive
(thanks to Victoria for photos)
Dear Ian Fisher,
Vicki gave me your e-mail. Just got back from helping my father
film and edit his new underground film, The Lion's Mouth. Ken
feels The Lion's Mouth is more apt as a title than Leomania. We
have just been selecting some of the hundreds of takes for
editing. We had 34 takes alone of Diana in her interview with
Nipper the dog! We found that having no budget makes one, forces one, to
reinvent, rethink, film-form; less-is-more; limited financial
resources means one has to use one's imagination; we crafted
million-dollar-images out of thin air! The
most simplest images are the most powerful. The last shots
were done last Sunday and now the editing begins. Diana was so
superb as the camp journalist and the Medieval Babes were great
in their Buzby Berkley tap-dancing routine on grass!
Set Designer, etc, etc. for The Lion's Mouth
The Mediaeval Baebes
I'm still in the process of
selecting the hundreds of takes from dozens of scenes from the
Lion's Mouth; we did so many takes of the scenes with Diana and
Nipper that we found it difficult to select the best take
(because they're all good in different ways). I select the takes
with dad and he edits them; we share the choice in selections of
takes. The props are old things we find in the stable and garage; we make things
out of nothing in a sense; ex-objects, retired furniture, extinct
rubbish: the usual lost objects of desire!
Got loads to tell you and will
set about getting photos to you as soon as back in London (in
Italy at moment...."RESTING"!!!!!!!!) Also there is
more press coming up as lots of people are interested.
||What d'you think of new
title? I know you hadn't thought "LEOMANIA" a
good idea, but I had come to love it!!!!! Kept getting signs that it was
lucky and my Dad put money on a horse at Ascot called
"SUPERSTAR LEO" which came in first (could have
won loads but bet a bit modest....) Will definitely let
you know first of anything exciting!
Diana Laurie, star of Lionīs Mouth
Ken has just finished editing
The Lion's Mouth which now runs at 28 mins in length. We
worked together two weeks ago setting up the last few vital shots
which may prove to be the most evocative and beautiful: and they
came by chance and surprise.
||My father has proven
you don't need a huge Hollywood budget to make magic. The
Lion's Mouth is Back to the Future: like many of Ken's
great early 1960s BBC TV Documentary Bio-Pics, The Lion's
Mouth works through the economy of form, space, image
where a limited budget gives one more freedom to
experiment. Big Budget movies today are over determined,
over-crewed, over-lit, over scripted, over stuffed with
sets. Ken says he sent you a bizarre photo of me filming him in The
Barrel Scene which was so difficult to shoot. Hope you got the pic and will
scan it in.
Ken and I are both working on
the music sound tracks for The Lion's Mouth and are trying to
work out what music would work best.
The film is nearing completion
with work now on the soundtrack and some extra dialogue by Diana.
The film might be released over
Internet, but a problem will be the copyright clearance of the
music in the film. Another option was via the Volcano independent
film festival and a documentary by Ken, but Ken wasnīt impressed
by the stuff he saw at the festival.
There is the possibility of
another documentary, possibly in three parts, which will include
a cut down Lionīs Mouth.
Thanks to Ken Russell for the information.