|Moving from music to sculpture
Russell comes up with one of his cult masterpieces about
Gaudier meets the much older and prim Sophie
Brzeska. They develop a friendship leading to them
sharing names (Gaudier Brzeska) though they never
married. Ken Russell's imagery is as always breathtaking.
In one of Russell's best scenes Brzeska waits
for Gaudier at a station.
The train comes and goes but no
Gaudier. Another train leaves and there is Gaudier on the
wrong platform, arms full of roses for Brzeska. He runs
towards her, jumping from platform to rails. He slips as
a train emerges but rather than escape the train he picks
up the roses, at the last moment avoiding the wheels of
the train and falling into Brzeskaīs arms.
Gaudier joins the war. The superb line "I
have succeeded in making the enemy angry..." is a
true letter quoted in H.S. Edeīs biography of Gaudier.
The film ends, just as Edeīs book does, with Gaudierīs
||Gaudier could be seen as Russell's
fictional autobiographical character. When
Russell read H.S. Edeīs biography he was the
same age as Gaudier "I was impressed by
Gaudierīs conviction that somehow or other there
was a spark in the core of him that was personal
to him, which was worth turning into something
that could be appreciated by others."
Russell also says (Films and Filming Oct 1972) "I wanted this
film to be totally different from the big companies and back
into the small studio, back to the BBC sort of style with a
Alex Russell, Ken's son, who plays a role in
the film, says
Messiah, I remember when filming on the sea coast some
oil or tar was on the lens of the 35ml camera; but was
not discovered till the evenings rushes screening: so a
whole days shooting was ruined! Also: the rain seen was
done via the fire brigade pumping salt water straight
from the sea! Also: the Gaudier Breshka charcoal and
pastel drawings (well faked) for the film were later
stolen and sold as originals down Bond Street and at