Ken Russell: England's Great Visionary Film Director and Music Lover (Paperback)
KEN RUSSELL: ENGLAND'S GREAT VISIONARY FILM DIRECTOR AND MUSIC LOVER ---- By Jeremy Mark Robinson. Foreword by actress Sammi Davis (star of The Rainbow) ---- A filmmaker like no other, Ken Russell remains one of cinema's extraordinary talents, a creator of masterpieces such as The Devils, Tommy and The Music Lovers, and a body of work that flies from the pastoral, Romantic lyricism of Delius: Song of Summer and Elgar to the wild extremes of Lisztomania, Altered States and Mahler. Ken Russell is the greatest living filmmaker in Britain. Even though he died on November 27, 2011, he's still somehow very much alive. After the death of Michael Powell in 1990, who else was there? As an image-maker, Russell is not only a total natural, he has very few peers among filmmakers - not only in Britain; but also around the globe. Russell's inventiveness seems to know no bounds, and his films are cascades of images, so much that it can't all be taken in on the first viewing of a picture. Russell does everything a great director and a great artist should do, and then he does so much more. Why do we love Ken Russell's movies so much? For many reasons: the spirituality, such a rare commodity in recent British cinema: Russell's films are not afraid of addressing spiritual issues. - The poetry. - The music - no other filmmaker of the same era in Britain has been such a tireless and enthusiastic promoter of music. - The dancing - no other British film director has included so much dance in their output (and very few directors anywhere ). - The British popular culture elements. - The English landscape. - The romance and romantic sensibility - His stories of artists and creativity. - His interviews and public persona, appearing on everything from websites and YouTube to silliness like British TV's Big Brother. - His encouragement to young filmmakers and his teaching.Ken Russell has been dubbed 'a fish and chips Fellini', 'the enfant terrible of British cinema' and 'the Wild Man of the BBC'. The two periods of 'classic' Ken Russell work would be the TV documentaries of the early-to-mid 1960s (with 1962's Elgar as the highpoint that everyone remembers), and the feature films of the late 1960s to late 1970s (with Women in Love and Tommy being the high watermarks among audiences if not critics). Certainly, it's with Women in Love that Ken Russell begins that extraordinary run of feature-length movies: Women in Love is followed by The Music Lovers (his favourite movie), which's followed by The Devils, which's followed by The Boy Friend, which's followed by Savage Messiah, which's followed by Mahler, which's followed by Tommy, which's followed by Lisztomania. That's a run of eight amazing movies. You could add Valentino and Altered States. This book explores all of Ken Russell's key movies and television productions, his themes and symbols, his filmic style and direction, and his use of music and visuals. Plus chapters on Russell's unmade productions, a biography of the director, quotes by Russell, resources, video and DVD availability, and the fans on Russell. ---- Fully illustrated. Bibliography and notes. ISBN 9781861712318. 808 pages.www.crmoon.com
REVIEW ON AMAZON:
Wildly uneven, often verbally stunning, but it's power is undeniable.
Jeremy Robinson has written many critical studies, including Steven Spielberg, Arthur Rimbaud, Jean-Luc Godard, and The Sacred Cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky, plus literary monographs on: J.R.R. Tolkien; Samuel Beckett; Thomas Hardy; Andre Gide; Robert Graves; and Lawrence Durrell. It's amazing for me to see my work treated with such passion and respect. There is nothing resembling it in the U.S. in relation to my work. Andrea Dworkin (on Andrea Dworkin) This model monograph - it is an exemplary job, and I'm very proud that he has accorded me a couple of mentions... The subject matter of his book is beautifully organised and dead on beam. Lawrence Durrell (on The Light Eternal: A Study of J.M.W. Turner) His poetry is very good deep moving stuff. Cloud Nine magazine Jeremy Robinson's poetry is certainly jammed with ideas, and I find it very interesting for that reason. It's certainly a strong imprint of his personality. Colin Wilson Sex-Magic-Poetry-Cornwall is a very rich essay... It is a very good piece... vastly stimulating and insightful. Peter Redgrove