Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Ken Russell

Farewell to a brave, wild and visionary director. Quite simply, there will never be another like him.

He made films that ranged from the truly sublime to the frankly terrible, but
all of his work was astonishing, surprising and undeniably his own.

Chief among my personal favourites are The Devils and Crimes Of Passion, but I've always been most fond of Altered States. I'm sure others of my generation will remember all the hullabaloo at the time of its release (in mags like Starlog and Cinefantastique), with writers hailing the film as visually transcendent and technologically cutting edge, the final sequence in particular. The film also contains FX sequences that are textbook examples of the amazing results that can be achieved using only practical, in-camera FX. It's a flawed but fantastic film, and I still can't understand why Paddy Chayefsky detested it so much.

The legacy of Ken Russell is garish, psychedelic, lurid, shocking, silly... and ultimately very beautiful...

I'd like to think that somewhere he's having a few stiff whiskies with Oliver Reed right now.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A very nice profile of Ken Russell. I linked to it at my blog.

  3. Well said, Aylmer. I agree about the beauty in his films - something that is often overlooked.

  4. My heath is terminal... but so far things (health-wise) a still going good ...Hopefully, the bad part does come for a few years yet I have been told by the doctor that I will need the use of oxygen tank later... as long as I physically do not exert too much energy and thus make my breathing (or the ability to do so)take more effort to produce oxygen in my body.... I should function rather normally... Cold weather and or humidity can make life more difficult for me ... My severe nervous condition is much more difficult to conceal ( At least I get to pick up my monthly supply of nerve medicine today after I go to Group Therapy (I will also pick up my breathing meds) But I have not been through the procedures that you have been subjected to over your illness... My best wishes unto you sir...
    your friend... the Doctor

  5. Merry Christmas to you and the best of health as well...
    Your friend ("mate") ...the Doctor