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Ken Russell tv video

 

Monitor classics 3

 

1963 Watch the Birdie

Ken Russell Watch the Birdie

About David Hurn the Magnum photographer. Hurn was a friend of Russell from the days that Ken was also a photographer.  Hurn´s girlfriend Alita Naughton would appear in French Dressing.  The films includes an early photo story by Ken Russell.  The photo of Russell directing Watch the Birdie is from "An Appalling Talent".

 

1964 Lonely Shore

Described as a fantasy, about the archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes who died in 1996.  "No-one is left alive in England.  All that remains are fragments of our civilisation" (Radio Times, 11 Jan 1962).  The script was based on writings by Jacquetta Hawkes, the film editor was Allan Tyrer, associate producers were Nancy Thomas and Humphrey Burton and the editor was Huw Wheldon who also introduced.  It was broadcast on BBC 1 on Sunday 14 Jan 1962.

Russell wanted to create an atmosphere of desolation and used dummies on a shore (the Thames in London).  Dummies appear in many of Russell's work from the amateur Peepshow to his first film French Dressing to Aria and Gothic.

  

 

1964 Bartok

Bartok

A film of the Hungarian composer who ended his days in America. A few years ago his body was exhumed and taken back to Hungary.  Russell was allowed to use an actor to show Bartok, but the actor was not allowed to speak.

Ken Russell Bartok

Roles are played by Boris Ranovsky, Pauline Boty (from Pop Goes the Easel), Sandor Elos, Morrio Bush and Peter Lannigan.

 

1964 The Dotty World of James Lloyd

Ken Russell James LLoyd

James Lloyd the painter, subject of the film, would later reappear as an actor in Ken's film Always on a SundayThis was the last of the Monitor films under Huw Weldon.

 

1964 Diary of a Nobody

Ken Russell's first professional work of fiction.   Taking time out from documentaries he filmed this version of the comic novel by brothers George and Weedon Grossmith. It is the story of Charles Pooter and his friends Cummings and Gowing ("coming" and "going").  It was the first film in the BBC2 series Six New Films and was broadcast on Saturday 12 Dec 1964.  Russell adapts the novel as a silent film with a voiceover- the actors beautifully overacting, silent film style.

Bryan Pringle and Anne Jameson in Ken Russell Diary of a Nobody

Left Bryan Pringle starring as Charles Pooter with Anne Jameson, right Ann Strunk and Jonathan Cecil as Cummings.

Ann Strunk and Jonathan Cecil in Ken Russell Diary of a Nobody

Diary of a Nobody by Ken Russell

Right Vivian Pickles and Brian Murphy as Mr. Gowing.

Vivian Pickles and Brian Murphy in Diary of a Nobody

 

Russell adapted the novel together with John McGrath- they would work together again a few years later on Billion Dollar Brain.  McGrath is also executive producer.  Ken Westbury was cinematographer (he would later do The Singing Detective) and the editor was Michael Bradsell.  The costumes were by Russell's wife Shirley Russell.

 

Ken Russell Diary of a Nobody

Regular Russell actors include Murray Melvin, left, as Pooter´s son.  He would later appear in Isadora Duncan, The Devils, The Boyfriend, Lisztomania, Clouds of Glory and Prisoners of Honor.

Bryan Pringle would go on to French Dressing and The Boyfriend, Vivian Pickles would next star in Isadora, Brian Murphy has a role in The Devils, Anne Jameson in The Boyfriend and Norman Dewhurst in Dante´s Inferno.

Avril Elgar in Diary of a Nobody

Ken Russell Diary of a Nobody

On the right the filming, the interior scene filmed outside.

Ken Russell Diary of a Nobody

Russell adapted the novel together with John McGrath- they would work together again a few years later on Billion Dollar Brain.  McGrath is also executive producer.  The adaptation is quite faithful though it only covers the first two thirds of the novel.  Ken Russell said the estate of the authors were unhappy at the film, regarding it as a travesty (Ken Russell at the BFI, 29 Jul 2007)- in reality the film captures the novel perfectly.  Ken Westbury was cinematographer- he would later do The Singing Detective- and the editor was Michael Johns.  The superb costumes were by Russell's wife Shirley Russell- the check of Lupin contrast beautifully with the stripes of Mrs. James.  Ivor Cutler provides the music.

More television

Click title for film Picture Stories (Charlotte Bronte) * Peepshow * Knights on Bikes * Amelia and the Angel, Lourdes * Poet's London * Gordon Jacob * Guitar Crazy * Variations on a mechanical theme, Two Painters * portrait of a Goon * Marie Rambert remembers * Architecture and entertainment * Cranks at Work * The miner's picnic * Shelagh Delaney's Salford * A house in Bayswater * The light fantastic * London Moods * Antonio Gaudi * Lotte Lenya sings Kurt Weill * Old Battersea House * Portrait of a Soviet Composer * Pop goes the easel * Preservation man * Mr Chesher´s traction engines * Elgar * Watch the birdie * The lonely shore * Bartok * The dotty world of James Lloyd * Diary of a nobody * The Debussy Film * Always on a Sunday * Don't shoot the composer * Isadora * Dante's Inferno * Song of Summer * Dance of the Seven Veils * William and Dorothy * The Rime of the Ancient Mariner * ABC of British Music * A British Picture * The Planets * Vaughan Williams * The Strange Affliction of Anton Bruckner * The Secret Life of Sir Arnold Bax * The Mystery of Doctor Martinu * Classic Widows * In Search of the English Folk Song * Stories of Seduction * Prisoners of Honor * Lady Chatterley * Alice in Russialand * Ken Russell's Treasure Island * Tales of Erotica * Dogboys, Brighton Belles * Elgar A Portrait of the Composer on a Bicycle * Lion's Mouth * The Fall of the Louse of Usher * Revenge of the Elephant Man (Hot Pants 1) * the Mystery of Mata Hari (Hot Pants 2) * The Goodship Venus (Hot Pants 3) * Advertisements * Trial of the Century * She's So Beautiful * Phantom of the Opera * Nikita, Cry for Heaven * Diana * Its all coming back to me now * Teenager in Love * The Death of Scriabin

 

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