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KenRussellfilms
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A period when Ken Russell brought out films that challenged cinema. Women in Love was a major critical and commercial success. The Music Lovers continued his success and The Devils established him as a great mainstream director. At one point his last three films (The Music Lovers, The Devils, The Boyfriend) were showing at the same time on London's West End.

 

 

Women in Love, 1969

   
  Women in Love established Russell as a major film director. The film is based on DH Lawrence's novel and caused as much critical confusion as Lawrence did in his day. But it became a major commercial success.

Ken Russell Women in Love

The wrestling scene brought homo-erotic images into the mainstream cinema.

Ken Russell Women in Love

As in the later Rainbow, Russell skips most of the political aspects of Lawrence's book.

Ken Russell Women in Love

Drowned lovers contrasted with the living.

Ken Russell Women in Love

Ken Russell Women in Love

The rest of the virgin and the anxiety of the mistress.

Ken Russell Women in Love

Ken Russell Women in Love, Eleanor Bron

Eleanor Bron and Jennie Linden provide good supporting roles.

Ken Russell Women in Love, Jennie Linden

The photography is by Billy Williams.  Says Joy Gould Boyum (from Double Exposure) "the scenes between Rupert and Ursula tend to be brightly lit, situated in daylight and frequently outdoors.  The scenes between Gerald and Gudrun, in contrast, tend to be set in interiors and most often at night- with the prevailing darkness serving... to comment on the texture of their relationship....".  The use of mirrors is typical of Ken Russell.

Ken Russell Women in Love

The editor is again Michael Bradsell.

Ken Russell Women in Love

Costumes are by Shirley Russell.  Georges Delerue did the music, Russell says: "Certainly the power of the scene is greatly enhanced by the music of Georges Delerue but it’s not the exact music that he wrote for that particular sequence... what I had to do was to cut out the fugue and use the prelude, actually the prelude had tremendous, a sort of growing intensity and power so it worked and the fact that it cut off just as the moment when the two men collapsed worked extremely well".

 

people
Ken Russell Women in Love Oliver Reed Oliver Reed is at his peak with subtle powerful acting. Alan Bates co-stars. Both traded part of their salary for a percentage of the profits, one of the first such deals in films.

Initially they were cast in the opposite roles, but Russell soon switched them round.

Ken Russell Women in Love Alan Bates
Ken Russell Women in Love Glenda Jackson Glenda Jackson acts subtly. The initial scenes, where her acting is by facial expression rather than words, is presumably Ken Russell's idea and increases the depth of the film.  She was paid 5000 for the role.

She was pregnant but did not tell Russell until it became obvious.  Vladek Sheybal says "there is a revealing shot in the film which nobody noticed after its release, but which I noticed, when she dances with me in the snow- suddenly we see a bulge" (from Fire and Ice).

Ken Russell Women in Love Glenda Jackson pregnant

 

best image
Glenda Jackson Ken Russell Women in Love Glenda Jackson, red hair and fringe, confronting the Highland cows, red hair and fringe. Ken Russell Women in Love

Alan Bates naked in the field.

best scene

Oliver Reed and Alan Bates in Women in Love

The wrestling scene.

The opening sequence with the coal miners on the bus and the silent dialogue of Glenda Jackson.

themes sexuality (repression, homosexuality)

the elements: water and earth.

films Other films released in the same year include True Grit, Midnight Cowboy and Easy Rider.

 

 

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