Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Ken Russell


hepclassic
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am a major fan of his films, and love that he pushed the boundaries in cinema in showing characters of all healthy and legal sexual orientations on screen. By that sentence, I mean GLBT of course.  I just love how he shows human sexuality honestly and without shame. My favorite film of his is 1969's Women In Love, and while it is about D.H. Lawrence's fantasy of two partners interchangeable between two people tested against the world, the way he showed the tenderness of a closeted character of Gerald Crich and the intellectual curiosity informing tender bonding (not to mention, the first openly nude fight scene in history of cinema) of Rupert Birkin, not to mention the artist friends of Gudrun Brangwen in Norway, is revolutionary. 

 

post-29241-0-94381500-1403410163_thumb.jpg

 

post-29241-0-31231900-1403410215_thumb.png

 

Do you have favorite films of his? 

post-29241-0-94381500-1403410163_thumb.jpg

post-29241-0-31231900-1403410215_thumb.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Russell was a mad cinema visionary -  his films might be crazy and tasteless but they are also visually stunning and intelectually daring- "Women in Love" is both erotic and thought provoking.   On you tube there is a fascinating documentary about the making of "The Devils"- a film filled with still shocking religious erotic imagery and a daring attack on the hypocrysy of the ruling class which use ignorance and fear to manipulate the population

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love The Devils. I was finally able to see it on youtube ages ago. That film was banned in Italy and Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed were forbidden to go to Italy for a long time because of that film, which was based on an actual historical event. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't seen The Devils in ages! It's not LGBT of course, as I remember (am I correct?). All I seem to recall about the film is something very naughty that Vanessa Redgrave does. It used to play on double bills in NYC with Visconti's The Damned.

 

Yes -- that scene in Women in Love was revolutionary. I'm convinced that, although he married, D.H. Lawrence was gay -- or at least bi.  There is a passage in his first novel, The White Peacock, (my favorite novel by the way) which is clearly homoerotic. I'll find it and post the passage at some point.

 

A Ken Russell film too often overlooked is The Lair of the White Worm. I don't think there's any LGBT angle to it, so I don't want to go into it too deeply in this thread, but it is a howl! And, along with Maurice, one of Hugh Grant's best roles.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't seen The Devils in ages! It's not LGBT of course, as I remember (am I correct?). All I seem to recall about the film is something very naughty that Vanessa Redgrave does. It used to play on double bills in NYC with Visconti's The Damned.

 

Yes -- that scene in Women in Love was revolutionary. I'm convinced that, although he married, D.H. Lawrence was gay -- or at least bi.  There is a passage in his first novel, The White Peacock, (my favorite novel by the way) which is clearly homoerotic. I'll find it and post the passage at some point.

 

A Ken Russell film too often overlooked is The Lair of the White Worm. I don't think there's any LGBT angle to it, so I don't want to go into it too deeply in this thread, but it is a howl! And, along with Maurice, one of Hugh Grant's best roles.

 

Well, if Oscar Wilde is an example, I don't see how gay men and gay women survived if they weren't married back then. 

 

I saw this play that I currently forget the name of at the moment, about how women could be friends but not friends even if they were socially known as "friends." I think that would be appropriate to D.H. Lawrence especially. Russell was daring enough to approach him, as the pre-cinema censorship of his literature made approaching the subject in film even more so. Still, shameless in the best way, Russell didn't care. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a passage from The White Peacock, D.H. Lawrence's first novel, published when he was 25. It is my favorite novel of all time and features some of the most beautiful description of nature ever written. It takes place in the land of Lawrence's birth, the Notts/Derby countryside. Cyril is the narrator and main character. His best friend is George, a young farmer:


 


"George was floating just beside me, looking up and laughing.


We stood and looked at each other as we rubbed ourselves dry. He was well proportioned, and naturally of handsome physique, heavily limbed. He laughed at me, telling me I was like one of Aubrey Beardsley's long, lean ugly fellows. I referred him to many classic examples of slenderness, declaring myself more exquisite than his grossness, which amused him.


 


But I had to give in, and bow to him, and he took on an indulgent, gentle manner. I laughed and submitted. For he knew not how I admired the noble, white fruitfulness of his form. As I watched him, he stood in white relief against the mass of green. He polished his arm, holding it out straight and solid; he rubbed his hair into curls, while I watched the deep muscles of his shoulders, and the bands stand out in his neck as he held it firm; I remembered the story of Annable.


 


He saw I had forgotten to continue my rubbing, and laughing he took hold of me and began to rub me briskly, as if I were a child, or rather, a woman he loved and did not fear. I left myself quite limply in his hands, and, to get a better grip of me, he put his arm round me and pressed me against him, and the sweetness of the touch of our naked bodies one against the other was superb. It satisfied in some measure the vague, indecipherable yearning of my soul; and it was the same with him. When he had rubbed me all warm, he let me go, and we looked at each other with eyes of still laughter, and our love was perfect for a moment, more perfect than any love I have known since, either for man or woman."

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The White Peacock was never made into a film, though many other Lawrence novels and stories were.

It should be made into a film one of these days. I can see Focus Features doing it in the future, maybe Kasi Lemmons or Gus van Sant directing it. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...