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Last update 7 Oct 2021.


The Devils and Hell on Earth on-line

Ken Russell The Devils

Ken Russell The Devils

 

You can watch The Devils as well as Mark Kermode's documentary Hell on Earth plus Q&A with Ken etc. The link is on the Internet Archive is here.

As well as the film the extras are:

  •  Hell on Earth - A documentary exploring the film's production and controversial history. (2002, 48 mins)

  • Onstage Q&A with Ken Russell - The director in conversation with Mark Kermode at the NFT in 2004. (2012, 13 mins

  • Director of Devils - A documentary featuring candid Ken Russell interviews and unique footage of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies recording his score. (1971, 22 min)

  • On-set footage - 8mm footage of the set with commentary by Michael Bradsell. (2012, 8 mins)

  • Deleted Scene: The Rape of Christ - The infamous orgy scene scene never officially released. (1971, 2 mins)

  • Deleted Scene: Grandier's Bone - In this often cut scene, Sister Jeanne appears to masturbate with the charred bone of Grandier, given to her by Laubardemont. (1971, 1 min)

  • Trailers - Original UK and US theatrical trailers for The Devils. (1971, 5 mins)

  • James Ferman - The former secretary of the BBFC discusses censorship of 'The Devils'. (3 mins)

  • UK Censors - A short excerpt on the campaign to censor 'The Devils' in the UK. (1 min)

  • Year of Censorship - Interviews with film critic Alexander Walker, Ken Russell, and BBFC examiner Ken Penry on the controversies of 'The Devils'. (5 mins)

 

 

Dick Bush, Cinematographer

An update on one of Ken's cinematographers.

"When I was asked to do a Ken Russell film I was only an acting cameraman. I’d never been taught lighting, I taught myself really by watching other films, and went ahead to work with this terrifying creature as Ken was in those days. He would get through sound crews and camera crews in seconds. And I realised Ken was being really helpful. We’d go off to locations or work in the studio and I would light the set and he would come up and quietly say “Dick, do you really need that lamp on there”, and I’d switch it off and realise the set looked better".

The link is here .


Site updates - Savage Messiah

A major update of Savage Messiah here .

Dancer in Savage Messiah Ken Russell

Ken Russell Savage Messiah

 

Site updates - The Boyfriend

A major update of The Boyfriend here .

Ken Russell The Boyfriend 

Ken Russell The Boyfriend




Ken Russell: Portrait of a Maverick

Portrair of a Maverick 

Ken Russell Portrait of a Maverick is a documentary by Chris Wade. The film gives an overview of Ken’s childhood and career, and has interviews with Xavier Russell (Ken’s son who edited some of Ken’s films), Judith Paris, Emma Millions and (voice only) Scott Antony.

Xavier gives some good insight into Ken’s working such as how he edits. He also mentions the friendship between Ken and Coppola, and Scorsese (who would send Ken copies of his latest films), as well as Fellini’s admiration of Ken. He also mentions Ken’s mixed feelings about Kubrick.

Judith Paris brings out how devoted she is to the work of Ken and mentions his insistence on lots of takes. As well as in films, she worked with Ken in the theatre.

Emma Millions covers the last films of Ken. She gives examples of Ken’s inventiveness such as when they had to find a way of portraying a castle collapsing (The Fall of the Louse of Usher) and he came up with the idea of using a bouncy castle. She also touchingly tells how she burst into tears when she overheard someone say Ken had just died.

The film is just over 55 minutes. You can buy the DVD or the download here

http://wisdomtwinsbooks.weebly.com/documentaries.html

The site has a short online trailer you can watch.

Recommended.

 

 Recent changes to the site:

  • upgrade of site underway

 


 Too late- you missed it:


Altered States in London, UK

Ken Russell Altered States

Altered States is on at the British Film Institute on 30 Sept 2021.

Ken Russell Altered States

 

Altered States in St Louis, USA

Ken Russell Altered States

A chance to see Altered States in the open air.  It is on 4 Aug 2021 at The Arkadin Backlot at The Heavy Anchor, St. Louis, MO 63116.

Ken Russell Altered States

 

The link is here .

 

Girls Will Be Boys/Boys Will Be Girls

Ken Russell photo

Girls Will Be Boys/Boys Will Be Girls is an exhibition of Ken's photography (along with photos of Alan Vines).  It is at the Lucy Bell Gallery in St Leonards on Sea, UK from 21 Sep - 9 Nov 2019.

"Before finding fame as a film director with Women in Love, Tommy and The Devils,Russell worked as a freelance photographer. His series "The Last of The Teddy Girls" explores the Teddy Girl subculture of London in the 1950s,and captures the suits and slick backs that epitomise this genre. Few people know that Ken Russell originally wanted to be a serious fashion photographer and tried to start by photographing Mattli, the Swiss-born and London-based fashion designer known for his couture designs and, later, his ready-to-wear clothing and couture patterns. But as Ken himself admitted, he was hopeless and couldn’t connect with his subjects. His genius was to connect brilliantly with the Teddy Girls and boys and later with his actors, all of whom would do anything for him. In the 50s, he had captioned a series of photographs he took of antique clothing stores series beginning with “Forget your Dior fashions”!” But actually, he loved all the couture stuff."

Tommy in the cinema in the UK

Tommy

Click on the image for more details.

The British Film Institute are showing Tommy from 22-30 Nov 2019.  The film will also be shown in some cinemas throughout the country.

"Ken Russell interprets The Who’s concept album as a mix of high-energy kitsch and darker psychological nightmare."

But "We have imported a print from France for these screenings as there is no longer a good print available in this country. The print will have French subtitles which we hope will not impair your enjoyment." Sad there is no good print available in the UK.

Click on the image for more details.


Ken Russell season in Armenia

AFG Film Club 

AFG present various Ken Russell films as part of the Great Composers and Great Passions season in Yerevan, Armenia.  The films are:

  • Elgar and Always on Sunday in Yerevan on 2 Sept 2017.
  • The Debussy Film on 9 Sept 2017
  • Isadora Duncan on 16 Sept 2017
  • Dante's Inferno on 23 Sept 2017
  • Song of Summer on 30 Sept 2017

 Click on the image for more details.


A Tribute to Ken Russell in London, UK

Ken Russell and Robert Powell

The Cinema Museum in London present a festival of Ken Russell films from 23-27 Aug 2017.

 The fillms and guests are:

  • The Debussy Film with a talk by Melvyn Bragg
  • The Devils introduced by Mark Kermode
  • Mahler with guests Robert Powell and Georgina Hale
  • Music Lovers with a talk by Glenda Jackson
  • Savage Messiah with guests Lisi Russell, Judith Paris and Michael Bradsell

Click on the image for more details.


Ken Russell on Screen by  Chris Wade

Ken Russell on Screen 

A new book on Ken Russell by Chris Wade.

"Ken Russell: On Screen celebrates the film and television career of one of the world's most innovative, controversial, and outrageous directors of all time. Ken Russell was a one off, a notorious enfant terrible, and the definition of a true maverick. He was also a genius. In a series of articles, Chris Wade goes through Ken's long and varied career, focusing on such seminal works as The Devils, Tommy and Lair of the White Worm, as well as assessing his seminal BBC films of the 1960s. Also explored in depth is Ken's final era, The Gorsewood Years, his time as a truly independent filmmaker.The book features new recollections from Russell collaborators like Murray Melvin, who looks back on The Devils, his son Xavier Russell, Rick Wakeman and many more, plus pictures provided by Ken's wife Lisi."

Click on the image for more details.

Paul Sutton's monumental biography of Ken and his films

Talking about Ken Russell 

Two editions, colour and black and white.   Highly recommended.



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