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Ken Russell Writing 4

UFO over Eden: magazines etc about the films


Reel Conversations

Reel Conversations

by George Hickenlooper, 1991.  Interviews with 25 film directors.  From the interview with Ken Russell "I think [films about musicians and artists] deal in mysteries just the way I think life is a mystery. Artists somehow make mysteries concrete, make them more tangible. They interpret the ineffable for the rest of us".


That Old Devil Called Ken


by Simon Banner, in Q Feb 1987.  An interview and overview at the time of Gothic.  Some very good photos and some nice insights:

- How does he work?
- "I just say Action! then Cut!"
- Having cunningly established who's in charge- in time honoured Russell tradition- Ken then completely takes over the proceedings, reeling off the anecdotes..."


Double Exposure: Fiction into Film

Double Exposure

by Joy Gould Boyum, 1985.  An analysis of 18 film adaptations, including 8 pages on Women in Love.  "The scenes between Rupert and Ursula tend to be brightly lit, situated in daytime and frequently outdoors. The scenes between Gerard and Gudrun, in contrast, tend to be set in interiors and most often at night- with the pervading darkness serving ...to comment on the texture of their relationship".  Other films covered include Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange and Death in Venice.


The Nureyev Valentino

Nureyev Valentino

by Alexander Bland, 1977.  About the film but made without access to Russell or Nureyev. The books covers the career of Valentino, then the film itself with a short section on Russell's style and a detailed synopsis of the film. Lots of colour and black & white pictures.

Shirley Russell

Shirley Russell's costume designs, and Ken on site

Ken Russell


The Story of Tommy

Ken Russell Tommy

by Richard Barnes and Pete Townsend, 1977.  The story of the rock opera from LP to stage show to Ken Russell's film, but mainly concentrating on the film. Lots of pictures and an interview with Ken.

Ken Russell Tommy     Ken Russell Tommy


Journal of Popular Film

Journal of Popular Film

Issue 5/3&4 which includes "Fact, Fantasy, and the Films of Ken Russell: an Interview" by Gene D. Phillips. 1976.  Recommended.

"With the possible exception of The Boyfriend all of my films have been Catholic in outlook: films about love, faith, sin, guilt, forgiveness, redemption. Films that could only have been made by a Catholic".

"Is Henri Gaudier still your guiding light as you pursue your career? Yes indeed, I am still firm in the conviction that I learned from his short life... It is a pity when one, either through force of circumstances or because one is afraid of being ridiculed by others, won't produce or expose to everyone that little spark of something special which is unique to him alone. That is what I am still trying to do in my work...".


Films and filming: Ann-Margret and Lisztomania

Films and Filming

January 1976.  The Films and Filming honours for 1975:
- Beast female performance, Ann-Margret in Tommy
- Best British Film, Tommy
- Best supporting male performance, Paul Nicholas in Lisztomania
- Most imaginative work of the year, Ken Russell for Tommy and Lisztomania.

There is also an interview with Ann-Margret (5 pages) "... I realised when I read the script that this [the beans etc scene] was the scene that would really have to be dealt with.  Obviously Ken thought so too, because he saved it until the very end of my shooting schedule".

And a review of Lisztomania "this time there is  no underlying affection for the artist in question, merely a desire to use his name" and "... a grotesque castration fantasy [scene] which shows Russell re-filming much of the material that was deleted from The Devils".


Films and filming: Lisztomania

Films and Filming

November 1975.  A photo spread on Lisztomania, (6 pages).


Savage Messiah

Savage Messiah

The MGM Press book for the film, 1972.  "Its been a detective story as much as anything- for me, anyway. I find that putting characters in situations which one knows actually existed leads naturally to certain things coming out- things which one hadn't or couldn't perceive just by reading the facts".


Film Quarterly: The World of Ken Russell

Film Quarterly

by Michael Dempsey, Spring 1972.  13 pages concentrating on The Music Lovers and The Devils.  "Russell's people seek to change, deny, or flee their identities.  Those who fascinate him most are romantic idealists struggling against their own personalities in order to achieve a level of existence they regard as higher, more noble".  Recommended.


The Boyfriend

Ken Russell The Boyfriend

A movie tie-in booklet, 1971.  Good pictures in colour and black and white. The information is very general.

Ken Russell The Boyfriend     Ken Russell The Boyfriend


Films and filming: Mahler

Films and Filming

April 1974.  A photo spread on Mahler, (4 pages).  Russell is quoted "My film is simply about some of the things I feel when I think of Mahler's life and listen to his music.  It is by no means a definitive view, there are as many facets to the mystery of Mahler's music as there are lovers of it".  There is also a poor review (not by Ken) of Robin Hardy´s The Wicker Man "The burning sequence... end up as a poorly executed parody of Russell's The Devils".


Films and filming: Shock Treatment

Films and Filming

by Gordon Gow, July 1970.  An interview and overview at the time of the filming of The Music Lovers (5 pages) plus photos (4 pages), still using the original title The Lonely Heart.  "What interests me is the position of the artist in society- his responsibility towards it- his neglect of it.  If you use his music to tell things about his life, you're doing two things at the same time.  You're letting his own art have its say, and you're recognising that the music is an integral part of some psychological aspect of his life".


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