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Ken Russell Links 4

 


New links are welcome.  Scroll to the end for other link pages.
 
click on images for links Interviews and articles
click to hear Ken Russell

BBC recordings on-line

Ken Russell is one of the directors on the BBC "voices from the archive".  You can listen to him talk about childhood, ballet, pop videos, Virginia Woolf and Madame Butterfly.
 

click for link Ken Russell at the Belgrade International Festival, interviewed by Rada Djurica

"Who will be playing Tesla? We heard it would be Jack Nicholson?

He's too old to play Tesla. But he could play Tesla's father, or even a grandfather like Jack Nicholson. He was in "Tommy;" he was very good. He doesn't wear underwear"

 

click for link Mike and Gaby

Gods and Monsters: An interview for the novel, also bringing in all the known anecdotes, plus some background on Russell's conversion to Catholicism.

"Russell tuned in to the enthusiasm of one Norman Dewhurst, a trainee tax inspector from Bradford, who was improving the shining hours of his leisure by taking instruction from the Jesuit priests of Farm Street. The really knock-out thing about Catholics, Norman said one night, is we eat God. "We eat God." It was the most extraordinary thing Kenneth had ever heard. Like science-fiction. Naturally, good old Norman was challenged on the ecclesiastical niceties of his assertion, but he stuck to the point. No, we don't believe we eat God. No, we don't imbibe the symbol of his holiness. We eat God. Literally. It was the wilful certitude that got our Kenneth by the throat. He wanted to belong. Norm had won a convert."
 

click for link Directing Film

From Ken's book: "United Artists did... had financed and distributed Billion Dollar Brain, and talked me into directing Women in Love. Although the Harry Palmer movie had only made a respectable financial return, the D H Lawrence movie went through the roof, so understandably they were going to look with a friendly eye on any other movie I might propose.
 

click for link questionnaire

When and where were you happiest?
- Last Saturday in the back garden watching my son Rex hit his first six.
...
What keeps you awake at night?
- Something in the attic.
How would you like to die?
- Walking the dog.
Do you believe in life after death?
- Only when I'm listening to Bruckner.
How would you like to be remembered?
- Reverently.
 

click for link top tv

The Best of British television ever.
Elgar from 1962 is number 48.
 

click for link Hitchcock

The questions: What would you give Hitchcock for his 100th birthday?
and What is your favourite Hitchcock moment?

Ken answers:
a) A musical score of Ottorino Respighi's 'The Birds' arranged for double bass
b) From The 39 Steps when Robert Donat goes to bed handcuffed to his beautiful blonde co-star... because it gave me ideas.
 

click for link Interactive CD Rom

An interactive CD Rom about Ken Russell as a great biopic film maker. View his movie clips, study his style in making biopic movie (filmography), biography and film synopsis. (1996).  Note I am unable to find the CD Rom and the site don't answer enquiries.  Any information welcome.

click for link Apple

Ken Russell was invited by Apple to make a short film with schoolchild Emma Downey.

"At an event last October Apple paired 16 students from four UK schools together with 16 Apple Masters. The masters were all media, entertainment and academic celebrities who have used Apple computers in their work. Their creative task was to film, edit and present a two-minute movie in two days using only a low-cost Canon MV30i digital camera and an iMac DV computer (it has the FireWire port fitted as standard).

The results were stunning as stars like Ken Russell and Hugh Laurie cajoled, encouraged and listened to their young charges. I stood behind Ken Russell as he worked with Emma Downey from Liswerry high school in Wales, and watched as they discussed the use of diagonal shadow and effect on the first clips."
 

 
Dead links, good quotes
 
click for link Art Thought (note: is now offline)

An on-line arts journal, this issue covering Ken's biographical works.

"Somewhat subtler, however, is the line in the accompanying vocal track [to Lisztomania]: "As long as life shall last." These are the exact words that are spoken by Urbain Grandier in The Devils (in the sequence just prior to Sister Jeanne's writing of the letter). The coincidence is striking, not just because the words are identical, but due to Liszt and Grandier being the two Russell protagonists that spend their lives having meaningless sexual encounters, yet yearn for true love.

This is typical of the multi-layered structure of Lisztomania, and of Russell giving the nod to films and filmmakers of the past, which, somewhat perversely, includes both himself and his own past work. Also, besides the cinematic references, the film contains a neat skit on Orpheus as Liszt is led into the court of Princess Carolyn by a servant (see if you can spot Ollie Reed in a micro-cameo) and is quickly thrown down to the bowels of hell."

Recommended.
 

click for link Wicker Man (note: is now offline)

Ken Russell's review of the film Wicker Man.

"... one of the strangest films ever made on these shores. The fact that it is curiously moving is paradoxical. The photography is mundane, and the acting of the professionals only a cut above that of the islanders, which is understandably amateurish. The natives treat the whole thing like a game, which, of course it is. So that sort of works. And the island itself casts a spell of its own upon the proceedings. Lastly there is the performance of Edward Woodward as the duped policeman, which can only be described as dogged. It's as though he discovered on day one that he was mixed up with a potential disaster, but decided that come hell or high water he would give the part his best shot.

I don't know whether Anthony Shaffer was trying to write a horror movie or a black comedy. Either way, The Wicker Man is genuinely disturbing. We still don't know the truth about what happened in the Orkney Islands only a short time ago. The suspicion that it could actually happen makes The Wicker Man linger in the mind, long after more polished horror movies have faded from memory."
 

click on images for links
On films generally
 
click for link Internet Movie Database

The definitive film guide.
 

KenRussell See me...Buy me...

Buying videos and books.
 

click for link

Famous Locations

Locations of films, including a number of Ken Russell films.
 

click for link Horrorfind

A horror and Halloween search site.

 

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