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KEN RUSSELL 
 
  • Ken Russell
  • Tommy: Ken Russell: The Who
  • Women In Love: Ken Russell: D.H. Lawrence
  • The Devils: Ken Russell

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    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).

    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, with 290 images from all of Russell’s films. Bibliography and notes. 820 pages.
     

    PBK  ISBN 9781861715081. £19.99 / $29.99

    HBK  ISBN 9781861714923. £39.99 / $59.99
     


    Tommy

    Ken Russell: The Who: Pocket Movie Guide






    By Jeremy Mark Robinson.

    Tommy is a 1975 movie based on the rock opera by the British pop band the Who and directed by British genius Ken Russell. Shamelessly over-the-top, silly, wild, dynamic, primitive, glitzy and violent, Tommy ain’t subtle: it presents pop psychology which’s crude as a sledgehammer, symbolism which’s heavy-handed like a pinball machine hurled out of a hotel onto Sunset Strip; it’s decked out in Pop Art colours and costumes by way of glam rock; it’s proudly and bizarrely English and parochial and provincial; it’s perverse and kinky; it’s shrill and hysterical; and it contains some of the finest music ever included in a musical movie.
    If Richard Wagner was making movies out of his music in the 1970s, this is what it would look like.

    Tommy would have to rank in the top three of anyone’s Ken Russell films. It’s one of those movies where every element comes together beautifully, and where everyone in the production seems to be working at their best. Tommy’s not perfect, but you wouldn’t want to change anything.

    Includes chapters on the Who; appendices on Quadrophenia; filmographies and discographies; and bibliography; quotes by Ken Russell, resources, video and DVD availability, and fans on Tommy.

    Fully illustrated, including images of the Who, musicals of Tommy, and inspirations. Bibliography and notes.

    ISBN 9781861715050. 308 pages.

    £11.99 / $17.99
     
     


    Women In Love

    Ken Russell: D.H. Lawrence: Pocket Movie Guide






    By Jeremy Mark Robinson.

    Women In Love (1969) is the most well-known film of a D.H. Lawrence novel. It was included in the British Film Institute’s Top 100 British movies. People always cited Women In Love as their favourite Ken Russell film. Russell complained that he has made better films than Women In Love, his third feature as director, but recognized that it seemed to chime with the public. Russell is right there: The Devils, Savage Messiah, and The Music Lovers are better movies cinematically, but it’s Women In Love that people remember more than those three pictures.

    There are lengthy chapters on every aspect of director Ken Russell.

    A filmmaker like no other, 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 to the wild extremes of Lisztomania and Gothic.
     

    Plus chapters on the novel of Women in Love; on D.H. Lawrence, and film adaptions of his work; appendices on The Rainbow (1989) and Lady Chatterley (1993), both directed by Ken Russell; filmographies; resources, video and DVD availability, and fans on Women In Love.

    Fully illustrated, including many images of the movie, and Ken Russell’s cinema. Bibliography and notes.

    ISBN 9781861715074. 264 pages.

    £11.99 / $17.99
     
     



     

    The Devils

    Ken Russell: Pocket Movie Guide







    By Jeremy Mark Robinson.

    The Devils is a celebrated 1971 picture based on the Loudun demonology trials in the 17th century, scripted by Ken Russell from Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun (1952) and the 1961 play by John Whiting (1918-63). The Devils was undoubtedly director Russell’s most notorious hour. It was the site of conflicts between the filmmakers, the American film studio (Warners), the censors and the critics.
    A tour-de-force of direction (and organization and production), the most significant contribution to The Devils may well be the screenplay ? and Ken Russell has the screen credit for the script. Which makes The Devils all the more remarkable. (And as if writing the script and directing the movie wasn’t enough, Russell also co-produced it.)
    Who would open a savage exploration of religious and political hypocrisy set in plague-ridden 17th century France with a dance number featuring the King of France dressed as the Goddess Venus?! Only Ken Russell!

    This book about The Devils contains lengthy chapters on every aspect of director Ken Russell.

    Includes: filmographies; resources; video and DVD availability; quotes from Russell; and fans on The Devils.
    Fully illustrated, including many images of the movie, and Ken Russell’s cinema.
    Bibliography and notes.

    ISBN 9781861715067. 240 pages.

    £11.99 / $17.99
     
     
     
     


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