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Ken Russell
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An archive of Ken Russell news.  Click news above for the latest updates.

 

French Dressing in London

The British Film Institute in London presents French Dressing on 24 Aug 2011.  Thanks to forum member Slapavision for the information.

 

Tommy and The Devils in London

Ken presents a screening of both Tommy and The Devils at the British Film Institute, London on 29 Jul 2001 (new date).  There is a planned Q&A with Mark Kermode.  Ken was to take part but had to withdraw due to ill health.

 

The Boy Friend in California

Ken Russell The Boy Friend - click for link

The Boy Friend will be shown on 31 Jul 2011 at the Aero Theatre.  Production designer Tony Walton will be present.  Click on the image for more details.

 

Lisztomania in Chichester, UK

Lisztomania - click for details

"Where else can you see a film where Richard Wagner grows a pair of vampire fangs; makes an Aryan monster (Thor - played by overblown organ-obsessive Rick Wakeman!); stages a thoroughly nightmarish 'Rape of the Rhine Maidens' - with the perpetrator sporting a Star of David tattoo (on his forehead!!); teaches innocent little kiddies anti-Semitic rock songs about 'Teutonic Godheads'; dies; then returns from the grave as a swastika emblazoned Frankenstein's monster with a Hitler moustache, firing an enormous guitar/machine gun at a space-ship full of his and Franz Liszt's ex-lovers, who are trying to bomb him?

And Ringo Star plays the Pope! Ken Russell’s most outlandish biographical film - Purists – please stay away… The film has a healthy disrespect for any historical accuracy, but it is very entertaining in its own excessive irreverent way."

On 30 Jun 2011 at Chichester Cinema.  Click on the image for more details.

 

Ken and Savage Messiah in Leeds, UK

Ken Russell will appear at a one-day Gaudier-Brzeska symposium.  It is part of the Henry Moore Institute's Savage Messiah exhibition which highlights the extraordinary ways in which the life of the French-born sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915) entered mainstream culture.  It is on from 16 Mar- 31 Jul 2011 at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK.

Ken will appear with the showing of film Savage Messiah at the Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds on 22 Jun 2011.

 

Savage Messiah art show

Savage Messiah - click for link

Rob Tufnell Gallery in London has an exhibition centred around Gaudier (of Savage Messiah) "with contributions from... Sophie and Henri Gaudier-Brezska, Ken Russell, Derek Jarman, Ezra Pound, Christopher Logue, Derek Boshier [Pop Goes the Easel].  It is on from 23 Apr- 28 May 2011.  Click on the image for more details.   More  soon after I go and see the exhibition.

 

The Devils to be shown uncut in London- with Ken

The Devils - click for link

On 1 May 2011 the East End Film Festival will show The Devils uncut (109 mins).

"The complete version of Russell’s infamous masterpiece arrives for its second ever UK screening. Breathtaking sets by Derek Jarman and Russell’s confrontational use of religious, sexual and violent imagery conjure a vision of damnation in 17th-century France. Outspoken, promiscuous priest Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed) is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed Mother Superior (Vanessa Redgrave). As rumours of demonic possession spreads to the local nuns, Grandier’s resistance to the encroaching power of the state results in him being made the victim of a show trial in a climate of public hysteria. Based on events documented in Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun, this is a potentially once in a lifetime chance to see a lost, deeply disturbing British classic."

Click on the image for details.   Thanks to Apuleius for the information.

Stop press: Ken will be attending.

 

Pop Goes the Easel in Philadelphia, USA

Peter Blake in Ken Russell Pop Goes the Easel

On 28 Apr 2011 the International House Philadelphia, USA present Pop Cinema: Art and Film in the UK and US, 1950s – 1970s.  This includes Ken's documentary Pop Goes The Easel.  On 30 April 2011 Derek Boshier, one of the artists in the film. will be in discussion.  Click on the link for more details.

 

Mahler in Largs, Scotland

Largs Film Society present Mahler on 22 April 2011 at the Valhalladrome in the Vikingar.

 

Celebrity Naked Ambition on tv

Ken and Amanda Donohue are on the British Channel 4 Celebrity Naked Ambition.  It is about actors appearing naked on screen (!!) and Lair and The Rainbow are mentioned.  Ken and Amanda give short comments.  You can watch it again on Internet via Channel 4 on Demand here.  It was broadcast on 12 Mar 2011.

 

2 films at Breda International Film Festival

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The International Film Festival Breda in The Netherlands will show two Ken Russell films as part of their program 'The Weird and the Wonderful'.  On 25 Mar 2011 you can see The Lair of the White Worm and The Fall of the Louse of Usher

Click on the image for more details.  Thanks to Willem for the information.

 

Lisztomania on DVD

Ken Russell Lisztomania

Lisztomania is available on DVD, with a commentary. You can buy it here.

 

BBC films on DVD in USA

Ken Russell BBC- click for link

Some of the best and rarest of Ken's work is released on DVD.  The films are The Debussy Film, Dante's Inferno, Always on Sunday, Isadora: The Biggest Dancer in the World, A Song of Summer and Elgar.  It is a USA release.  Originally it was to include Dance of the Seven Veils but obviously the Strauss estate blocked it and Elgar was substituted.  Thanks to Michael for the info.  Click on the image for more info. You can buy it here.
 

In Search of the English Folk Song on DVD
Gaudi on DVD
BBC films on DVD

In Search of the English Folk Song  Ken Russell Gaudi

In Search of the English Folk Song is on DVD, American format.  Ken's film on architect Gaudi is available along with Hiroshi Teshigahara's Gaudi film.

 

Isadora in Denver, USA

Ken Russell Isadora - click for link


If you are lucky enough to get to Denver FilmCenter/Colfaxway you can see Ken's Isadora on 5 Mar 2011.  Click on the image for more details.

 

French Dressing petition

click for the French Dressing petition

Sign a petition to get French Dressing released on DVD with commentaries.  Click on the image for the site.

 

Pop Goes the Easel in London

Peter Blake in Ken Russell Pop Goes the Easel

On 13 Feb 2011 the Museum of Everything in London screens Ken's film for Monitor from 1962.  Painter Peter Blake (who did the cover for Sgt Pepper) was one of the subjects and he will introduce the film.  Click on the image for the museum, though it is not easy to navigate.

 

Murray Melvin interview online

Murray Melvin - click for link

BBC Radio 4 have an interview with Murray Melvin, from The Devils and lots more films by Ken.  Click on the link to listen (but you have to be quick).

 

Amelia and the Angel

Ken Russell Amelia and the Angel

The British paper The Observer will have a free DVD of early films by influential films directors.  It is available this Sunday.

This includes Ken's magnificent amateur film Amelia and the Angel.  Other films are Boy and Bicycle by Ridley Scott, The Burning by Stephen Frears, I'm British But.... by Gurinder Chadha and Where's the Money Ronnie! by Shane Meadows.
Highly recommended.

 

Ken's photos

Ken Russell photographer - click for link

There is another exhibition of Ken's photos, before he went into films, at the Proud Gallery in London. 

The photos, all black and white, come from his pre film days. There are three types of photos
- the Teddy Girl series. The teddy girls are young teenagers, and Ken really does reveal the character of the girls in the stylish pictures. Similar photos are of young children on Portobello Road, London (near where I live but I can't recognise the locations from the photos).

- posed series, such as "other uses of a bicycle"- lots of photos of a Penny Farthing with people using it as anything but a bike. Others are very good, such as a photo of the door of a private detective, with the shadows of two men on the door. Very Alfred Hitchcock, I thought of the opening of Don't Shoot the Composer

- the rest. This includes a brush with films and celebrity, a photo of Richard Burton, in a Roman centurions costume from the set of Alexander the Great, released in 1956.

Click on the image for more details.  Note the photos on the Proud site are bad- seemingly a small image enlarged.  The originals in the gallery are sharp and in focus. Highly recommended.

 

Russellmania! with Ken in New York

Want to see The Devils and Savage Messiah?  Or The Boy Friend, Lisztomania, Mahler, The Music Lovers, Tommy, Valentino and Women in Love.   Each with Ken Russell present. Go to the Lincoln Centre in New York from 30 Jul- 5 Aug 2010.

click for link to Russellmania! click for link to Russellmania! click for link to Russellmania!
click for link to Russellmania! click for link to Russellmania! click for link to Russellmania!
click for link to Russellmania! click for link to Russellmania! click for link to Russellmania!

Click on the link for more details.  Thanks to Steve for the information.

 

The Devils on DVD?

There is a lot of activity going on which may suggest The Devils is about to come out on DVD- possible with the additions of the cut scenes.

Some things: the film was for sale on iTunes briefly, and will be shown on 30 Jul 2010 at the Walter Reade Theater, New York.

Ken's photos

Ken Russell photographs - click for link

There is an exhibition of Ken's photos, before he went into films, at the Lucy Bell Gallery in St Leonards on Sea.  Click on the image for more details.  Highly recommended. 
 

 

Tommy with Ken Russell in Beverly Hills

click for link

For those people living in, or visiting The Los Angeles Area, Ken Russell and Stuart Baird will be the special guests at a 35th Anniversary screening of Tommy at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on 21 May 2010.  Click on the image for more details.  Thanks to Rosebud for the details.
 

 

Aria Special Edition on DVD/ Ken at the BFI

Ken Russell Aria

Aria was reissued on DVD on 15 Jun 2009 but this time with extras.

The 10 directors each assigned to create a short film for this whole piece were Robert Altman, Derek Jarman, Jean-Luc Godard, Julien Temple, Charles Sturridge, Bruce Beresford, Bill Bryden, Franc Roddam with Nicolas Roeg and of course Ken.  Each made a film segment to the music of operatic arias.  Ken did Nessun dora.  You can buy it here.

The special features include a documentary featuring interviews with Producers and Directors and a commentary by Producer Don Boyd.  Thanks to Donald for the info.

Aria was shown at the BFI in London with Ken present.  It happened on 9 Jun 2009.  For details click here.

Ken Russell films

 

A Kitten for Hitler on-line

A Kitten for Hiter by Ken Russell

A Kitten for Hitler is available on the Comedybox site. 'Ten years ago, while working on The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg and I had a heated discussion on the pros and cons of film censorship. Broadly speaking, Melvyn was against it, while I, much to his surprise, was absolutely for it. He then dared me to write a script that I thought should be banned. I accepted the challenge and a month or so later sent him a short subject entitled A Kitten for Hitler. “Ken,” he said, “if ever you make this film and it is shown, you will be lynched.”  ...that was ten years ago, and I’m still alive and kicking, but whether that will still be the case in November only the Lord knows. Because, by the end of October, the film will be seen the world over, on the Comedybox website.'  Click on the image for the film.  Thanks to Ken and Lisi as well as Emma and Marc for the link.

 

A British Picture reissued

A British Picture Ken Russell

Ken's autobiography A British Picture has being reissued in an updated version.

"The updated autobiography of Britain’s most controversial film director, the maker of Women in Love, The Devils, The Music Lovers, Tommy and The Rainbow, is as unconventional and brilliant as his best films.  Moving with astonishing assurance through time and space, Russell recreates his life in a series of interconnected episodes – his thirties childhood in Southampton, his first sexual experience (watching Disney’s Pinocchio), his schooldays at the Nautical College, Pangbourne, early careers in the Merchant Marine and the Royal Air Force, dancing days at the Shepherds Bush Ballet Club and of course his career as a film-maker, beginning with an extraordinary interview with Huw Wheldon for a job on Monitor.  Full of marvellously funny anecdotes and fascinating insights into the realities of the film director's life, A British Picture is a remarkable autobiography."  Thanks to Paul for the information.  You can buy it here. Recommended.

 

Phallic Frenzy

Ken Russell Phallic Frenzy

By Joseph Lanza and sub-titled Ken Russell and his films, this major new book is now available.  As well as the films it covers Ken's opera and video work.  This will be the first full length book on Ken since 1984.  You can buy the book in the shop (click here).  Recommended.

 

Ken in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Boyfriend in Portsmouth with Ken

Ken (and special guests) will be attending a special screening of The Boyfriend at the Portsmouth theatre where it was filmed.  It happens on 6 Mar 2010.

Call the box office on (023) 9264 9000
www.portsmouth.co.uk/entertainment/Weekend39s-going-to-be-a.5977479.jp
www.newtheatreroyal.com

Thanks to Paul for the information.

 

 Wild Thing: Epstein, Gaudier-Brzeska and Gill

Gaudier-Brzeska- click for link

Wild Thing: Epstein, Gaudier-Brzeska, Gill.  The Royal Academy in London have an exhibition featuring sculpture Gaudier, as in Ken's Savage Messiah.  "Over a period of 10 years from 1905 to 1915, three outstanding young sculptors emerged in Britain; Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Eric Gill. The radical impact of their work was to transform British sculpture.  This exhibition is the first time that the three artists have been shown together in this revolutionary context... The exhibition will contain more than 90 works including sculptures, drawings and pastels. With rooms dedicated to the work of each sculptor the exhibition will focus on the key achievements of each artist and will reveal their impact on British sculpture. The show will bring together spectacular works, including ... Gaudier’s innovative carving of Birds Erect [in Ken's film]".  Click on the image for more details.

 

 

Ken will be at the Belfast Festival on 23 Oct 2009. He will be in conversation with William Crawley.

The festival will also include showings of The Music Lovers (23 Oct, with Ken), Savage Messiah (24 Oct),  Mahler (25 Oct) and Tommy (26 Oct).

Details are here www.belfastfestival.com

 

Karl Malden dies

Karl Malden

Karl Malden has died.  He had significant roles in films such as A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront and One-Eyed Jacks (all with Brando), Hitchcock's I Confess, Patton, How the West was Won and many others.  And of course Ken's Billion Dollar Brain.  Thanks to regal26 from the discussion board for flagging this.

 

The Devils in Harvard and on Sky

The Harvard Film Archive in Cambridge, MA, USA will screen The Devils on 24 Jul 2009.  It will be the standard version of the film.

Sky Arts may have acquired the UK TV rights to show the 'directors cut' of The Devils, tentatively for August this year along with the Hell on Earth documentary. [unfortunely this will not happen].

Thanks to richmond74 and regal26 for the information.

 

Aria: Ken at the BFI

Ken Russell Aria

Aria will be shown at the BFI in London with Ken present.  It happens on 9 Jun 2009.  For details click here.

 

 Monitor films at the BFI

On 15 Apr 2009 the BFI in London present Monitor Miscellany.  Lots of good early Ken Russell television work
- Guitar Music (1959)
- John Betjeman (1960)
- London Moods (1961)
- The Lonely Shore (1962)
- Lotte Lenya Sings Kurt Weill (1961).

 

Ken Russell at the Florida Film Festival

Ken Russell will be honoured and Crimes of Passion will be shown on the opening weekend of the  Florida Film Festival at the Enzian Theater in Maitland.  The Festival runs from 27 Mar- 27Apr 2009.  Thanks to Nick for the information.

 

Gorsewood films: Boudica and Charlotte Bronte

Boudica Bites Back: Ken's latest Gorsewood film was expected on the Times Online site around Easter 2008.  Now it will be shown at the SAND animation film festival in Swansea, Wales.

Charlotte Bronte: Ken's Charlotte Bronte was expected to be on YouTube.  Thanks to Alex for the information.

 

Ken's photos in London: Soho Nights

Ken Russell photo- click for link

"The photographs of Ken Russell captured the birth of the ‘hand jive’ at the Cat’s Whiskers coffee bar in 1956. This venue attracted such big crowds that there was no room to move and so hand gestures replaced conventional dancing.  The atmospheric scenes these photographs portray give us a glimpse of night-time Soho as it once was."

This exhibition is on from 6 Dec 2008- 8 Feb 2009 at the Photographers Gallery, London.  Click on the image for more info.

 

Invasion of the Not Quite Dead

Ken Russell

Ken is supporting and will take part in a film being set up by independent filmmakers AD Lane and Andrew Cargill.  Click on the image for more information.  Thanks to Archie for the information.

 

Mindgame: A Play in New York to 4 Jan 2009

Ken Russell Mindgame- click for link

Ken is directing a play in New York.  Ken describes the play Midgame as "A play in which nothing is as it seems. Strains of violence, intrigue, questionable identity, serial killers and sexually loaded psychodrama stretch the imagination to breaking point or breakthrough point: your choice and your ride... Alone in my room, reading the script... ,by the end of Act II was ready for a large scotch. By the last page, I had finished the bottle. Yes, it was honestly the scariest script I had ever read."

And how he came to do the play "Some time ago I was approached by the talented American actor Lee Godart to direct the play, by the British author Anthony Horowitz, whose TV series Foyle's War and whose Alex Rider books are international hits."

The play stars Keith Carradine, Lee Godart and Kathleen McNenny.  Beowulf Boritt is the production designer, Ken's wife Elise is assistant director and the producers are Monica Tidwell and Michael Butler.  It is on at the SoHo Theatre, 15 Vandam Street, New York, from 29 Oct 2008 and opened on 9 Nov 2008.  Click on the image for more details.

Site members can get discounts for Ken's play in NY:

Visit the Mindgame website at www.mindgametheplay.com and use code FWBB for
$35 tickets (regularly $64-$74).  Thanks to Sheryl for the discounts.

 

Gorsewood films: Boudica and Charlotte Bronte

Boudica Bites Back: Ken's latest Gorsewood film was expected on the Times Online site around Easter 2008.  Now it will be shown at the SAND animation film festival in Swansea, Wales.  On 27 Nov 2008 there will be a Q&A with Ken and parts of the film will be shown as part of a "making of..." discussion.

Charlotte Bronte: Ken's Charlotte Bronte was expected to be on YouTube.  Thanks to Alex for the information.

 

Herne Bay interview

Ken's interview for Kent TV in Herne Bay where French Dressing was made.  Thanks to Kristien for permission to include the link.

 

Halloween screening of The Devils with Ken in New York

Anthology Film Archive, New York, have a midnight halloween screening of The Devils, and Ken will be there. Details are here www.anthologyfilmarchives.org

 

Ken signing A British Picture in Southampton

Ken will be signing copies of his book at Waterstone's West Quay Southampton Sat 13 Sept between 1.00pm and 2.00pm.  Thanks to Paul for the information.

 

French Dressing in Herne Bay

There is an open-air screening of French Dressing in the Memorial Park, Herne Bay, Kent, UK as part of the Herne Bay Festival.  It is on 22 Aug 2008 at 8.00. Ken will be there in person to introduce the film.  Thanks to Neil for the info.

 

The Twiggy story on stage

Twiggy, star of Ken's The Boyfriend,  is trying to persuade Ken to work with her on a stage version of her life.  This will be a musical with songs from the Fifties to today.  She is working with a writer on the project, and wants Ken to bring it to the stage.  From The Mail on Sunday, 28 Oct 2007.

 

Altered States in USA introduced by Blair Brown

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Blair Brown, who played Emily Jessup in Altered States, introduces the film as part of the Brainwave NYC festival, on 18 Jan 2008 at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York.  Click on the image for more details.  Thanks to Steve for the information.

 

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