PDA

View Full Version : Every movie forum needs a Ken Russell thread...



John Gargo
04-05-2011, 04:29 PM
So here's one.

Women in Love - A+
The Music Lovers - A+
The Devils - A+
The Boy Friend - B-
Savage Messiah - A-
Mahler - B+
Tommy - A-
Lisztomania - B+
Valentino - B-
Altered States - A+
Crimes of Passion - A-
Gothic - A+
Salome's Last Dance - A
Lair of the White Worm - A-
The Rainbow - B
Whore - B
The Fall of the Louse of Usher - C+
The Girl with the Golden Breasts - C+

Ian Jane
04-05-2011, 04:34 PM
I have a lot of catching up to do with his stuff. I loved The Devils and really dig Tommy but couldn't get into Lair. I was young when I saw it though and I think a lot of it went right over my head.

I don't think I've seen any other Russell films.

John Gargo
04-05-2011, 04:39 PM
You should see Altered States.

http://img.listal.com/image/1782956/600full-altered-states-screenshot.jpg

Ian Jane
04-05-2011, 04:45 PM
That's the one with William Hurt, right? I have the WB DVD. Just haven't watch it.

Nolando
04-05-2011, 05:43 PM
Lisztomania is fun - I found the soundtrack on vinyl at a garage sale and about whizzed myself in excitement. But Gothic kicks 31 flavors of ass.

Ian Jane
05-17-2011, 12:03 PM
The Music Lovers is coming to DVD (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004RAK4GY) in the UK 6/27.

Ian Jane
07-18-2011, 10:11 AM
Warner Archive has Savage Messiah in the pipeline...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51bOgUkGLnL.jpg

paul h.
07-18-2011, 12:18 PM
I was just thinking about Ken Russell when I was in the Meat department of the grocery store yesterday, probably because I saw some guy that looks sort of like him and not because of the wall hot dog wieners and sausages. My favorites are THE DEVILS, ALTERED STATES, GOTHIC, and TOMMY. For the most part, he seems to get some excellent performances from his actors; Anthony Perkins is really loony in CRIMES OF PASSION, and Oliver Reed always seemed at home in Russell's films. I love the way that his appreciation for other art (paintings, classical music) seeps into and informs his vision. I suppose that is true with many directors, but it is perhaps more obvious with Russell.

Has everyone seen that South Bank Show, Ken Russell directs his own life story? If you haven't, seek it out. Great stuff.

Oh. Here it is (4 parts).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bze7hezDnxU&playnext=1&list=PL2D0BFE23F882D817

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnECHVVjebo&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwDiwkpgadY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnYKXqMMc4I&feature=related

Andrew P
07-20-2011, 07:45 AM
Most of the time after watching a Ken Russell movie I'm left wondering if I really saw what I just saw, lol. That's the best recommendation I can give. I thought his auto biography was a good read too.

Ian Jane
07-20-2011, 08:51 AM
I didn't realize that Savage Messiah actually came out on April. Haven't seen a single review for the Warner Archive disc though. I want to see this movie but I want to make sure the disc is of good quality first. Grrr.

Ian Jane
09-06-2011, 06:00 PM
MGM is putting The Music Lovers out via the Limited Edition MOD program later this month.

1992

Ian Jane
11-10-2011, 03:40 PM
So according to lovelockandload (http://www.lovelockandload.net/forum/index.php?topic=1532.75) The Devil's is coming out through The BFI in March.

This has the potential to be awesome.

Roderick
11-10-2011, 04:29 PM
Boing!

Alison Jane
11-10-2011, 04:35 PM
I thought this was a Ken Foree thread. Oh well.

Ian Jane
11-23-2011, 12:16 PM
BFI just sent this image out on Twitter. Not sure if it's the finished cover art or not (no BFI logo or anything)...

2415

Alison Jane
11-28-2011, 08:00 AM
Died yesterday, apparently...

Ken Russell, Controversial Director, Dies at 84 (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/arts/ken-russell-controversial-director-dies-at-84.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1322481656-anPnxpfbantfZFsf6gtbMg)

Ken Russell, the English filmmaker and writer whose outsize personality matched the confrontational brashness of his movies, died on Sunday, news agencies reported. He was 84.

The Associated Press quoted his son, Alex Verney-Elliott, as saying Mr. Russell died after a series of strokes.

A polarizing figure who delighted in breaching the limits of propriety and cinematic good taste, Mr. Russell courted controversy through much of his career. His most popular film, the D.H. Lawrence adaptation “Women in Love” (1969), and his most notorious one, “The Devils” (1971), about a 17th-century outbreak of religious hysteria, both caused run-ins with censors.

The flamboyance and intemperance of his movies were all the more notable coming at a time when British cinema and television were still largely known for the kitchen-sink style of social realism. During the ’70s, his most active decade as a feature film director, he made a series of artist biopics and rock operas that his supporters admired for their delirious excesses and that his detractors dismissed as vulgar kitsch.

Henry Kenneth Alfred Russell was born on July 3, 1927, in Southampton, England, the son of a shoe store owner. He described his childhood as a lonely one, with many an afternoon spent at the movies, alone or with his mother. As a teenager, he attended nautical school, where he claimed to have won over the bullies by putting on amateur productions of Dorothy Lamour musicals. He served briefly in the Merchant Navy and the Royal Air Force, then moved to London, where he studied dance before turning to photography in his late 20s.

Mr. Russell’s work as a freelance photographer and filmmaker led in 1959 to a job at the BBC, where he made dozens of arts documentaries, most notably a 1962 piece on Elgar, unusual at the time for its use of re-enactments. His other subjects included the composers Prokofiev and Debussy, the dancer Isadora Duncan and the painter Henri Rousseau.

The fascination with genius, ambition and the creative process — and the project of making high culture accessible to a popular audience — continued in Mr. Russell’s later fictional features. Many of them take considerable liberties in exploring the lives and works of composers and artists: the Tchaikovsky biopic “The Music Lovers” (1970);“Savage Messiah” (1972), about the French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska; “Mahler” (1974); “Lisztomania” (1975), which imagined Franz Liszt as the original pop superstar.

Mr. Russell’s career in feature films began with a couple of lightweight genre assignments — the romantic comedy “French Dressing” (1964) and “Billion Dollar Brain” (1967), a spy movie with Michael Caine — and took off with “Women in Love” (1969), a sensuous period piece that connected with the liberated sexual politics of the late ’60s. Although the film was generally well-reviewed and a mainstream success— it earned Mr. Russell his one Academy Award nomination for best director and won Glenda Jackson an Oscar for best actress — it was also the first glimpse of his flair for provocation.

“Women in Love” became notorious for an extended wrestling scene between the two male stars, Oliver Reed and Alan Bates, that featured full-frontal nudity and made it past the British censorship board only after Mr. Russell agreed to trim a few shots.

“The Dance of the Seven Veils,” a caricatured television drama from 1970, emphasized the connections of the composer Richard Strauss to the Third Reich. The Strauss estate withdrew the music rights, and the film, the last that Mr. Russell made for the BBC, remains suppressed to this day.

His 1971 film “The Devils,” based on real events that had inspired a play by John Whiting and a book by Aldous Huxley, tells the grotesque story of demonic possession at a French convent, complete with exorcism rituals and blasphemous orgies. Mr. Russell, who converted to Catholicism in the 1950s, saw the film as an attack on the corrupt union of church and state.

The American funders and the British censors called for cuts. The Catholic Church condemned the movie when it was screened at the Venice Film Festival. Even in its edited version, the film was banned by several local authorities in Britain; it was further trimmed in the United States to avoid an X-rating.

Despite his affinity for classical music, Mr. Russell’s films had more in common with the flashy British rock scene of the day. This connection was made explicit with “Tommy” (1975), his frenzied film version of the Who’s rock opera and concept album. He combined classical and rock music in the follow-up, “Lisztomania” (1975),which starred the Who’s lead singer, Roger Daltrey, as Liszt and featured a cameo by Ringo Starr as the pope.

Critics tended to welcome each new Ken Russell film as target practice. Reviewing “The Devils” in The New York Times, Vincent Canby called Mr. Russell “a hobbyist determined to reproduce ‘The Last Supper’ in bottle tops.” Pauline Kael called him a “shrill, screaming gossip.”

Mr. Russell was not above fighting back. Appearing on live television shortly after the release of “The Devils” with the British critic Alexander Walker, who had denounced the film as “monstrously indecent,” Mr. Russell hit him on the head with a rolled-up newspaper.

But even his staunchest critics would acknowledge that Mr. Russell left his mark on the medium. The nascent music-video aesthetic of the ’80s can be traced to the slick surfaces, rapid montage and voracious pastiche of his films (he lifted liberally from the likes of Fellini and Cocteau).

He had a knack for casting ascendant stars (Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson) and he sought out talented collaborators: two of his ’60s films were scored by the French composer Georges Delerue; he hired the young Derek Jarman as a production designer on “The Devils.”

Even in the prime of his career Mr. Russell cycled between hits and flops. Time and again he bounced back from critical and commercial disasters like “Lisztomania” and “Valentino.” He ventured into the American studio system with “Altered States” (1980), a hallucinogenic science-fiction film starring William Hurt. In his autobiography Mr. Russell revealed that he was hired by Warner Brothers only after 26 other directors had passed on the project. He feuded with the screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, who took his name off the project, but “Altered States” earned him some of his best reviews and has since developed a cult following.

Mr. Russell’s career never fully recovered from his 1984 flop, “Crimes of Passion,” although he managed one final provocation with “Whore” (1991). A drama about a Los Angeles prostitute, it was the last of his films to get a theatrical release in the United States, where it received an NC-17 rating and was released on video under the alternate title “If You Can’t Say It, Just See It.”

But even with his directing career in eclipse, Mr. Russell kept busy with films and documentaries for British television, occasional acting roles and self-financed low-budget features like “The Fall of the Louse of Usher,” a 2002 horror spoof literally shot in his backyard. He wrote several novels — including a few on the sex lives of famous composers (“Beethoven Confidential,” “Brahms Gets Laid”) —and made his off-Broadway directing debut in 2008 with “Mindgame,” a play starring Keith Carradine.

In Britain he remained a public gadfly into his 70s and 80s, appearing on television talk shows and writing a column for The Times of London. In 2007 he joined the cast of the reality TV series “Celebrity Big Brother” and left the show after getting into an argument with another house guest, Jade Goody.

In a column in The Times in 2008 about a critical biography on him by Joseph Lanza titled “Phallic Frenzy,” Mr. Russell reflected on his longtime status as a critical punching bag. “I believe in what I’m doing wholeheartedly, passionately, and what’s more, I simply go about my business,” he wrote. “I suppose such a thing can be annoying to some people.”



Neat that we got to see him in person.

Ian Jane
11-28-2011, 10:00 AM
Sad that he's gone before seeing The Devils get a legit DVD release. RIP Mr. Russell. He came across as such a nice, warm, funny guy when he did the Lincoln Center appearance last year.

Ian Jane
11-28-2011, 10:53 AM
Some more on his passing from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-10701521).

Nolando
11-28-2011, 07:29 PM
And Monty Python's take on it. http://youtu.be/QBcQsm56Jtk

Ian Jane
12-01-2011, 11:07 AM
So it looks like that is the cover art.

Amazon UK pre-order is up here (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0065N0SN0/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_asp_N9tpC.1RVKVTA).

Ian Jane
01-03-2012, 10:41 AM
Extras announced for The Devils:


DVD premiere presentation of the original UK X certificate version
Audio commentary with Ken Russell, Mark Kermode, Mike Bradsell and Paul Joyce
Hell on Earth (Paul Joyce, 2002, 48 mins): documentary exploring the film's production and the controversy surrounding its original release
Director of the Devils (1971, 21 min): documentary featuring candid Ken Russell interviews and unique footage of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies recording his celebrated film score
Original on-set footage with commentary by editor Mike Bradsell
Amelia and the Angel (Ken Russell, 1958, 30 mins): Ken Russell's short film, a delightful mix of religious allegory and magical fantasy
Original UK trailer
Original US trailer
Fully illustrated booklet featuring new essays and notes from Mark Kermode, Craig Lapper (BBFC), Sam Ashby, and others

Ian Jane
02-06-2012, 12:27 PM
The BFI just sent out a new press releases, some slight changes to the extras:
-DVD premiere presentation of the original UK X certificate version
-Newly filmed introduction with broadcaster and critic Mark Kermode (2012, 2 mins)
-Audio commentary with Ken Russell, Mark Kermode, editor Michael Bradsell and Paul Joyce
-Hell on Earth (Paul Joyce, 2002, 48 mins): documentary exploring the film's production and the controversy surrounding its original release
-Director of Devils (1971, 22 mins): documentary featuring candid Ken Russell interviews and unique footage of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies recording his celebrated film score
-Original on-set footage with commentary by editor Michael Bradsell (2012, 8 mins)
-On-stage Q&A with Ken Russell (2012, 13 mins): an excerpt from a conversation with Mark Kermode filmed at the National Film Theatre in 2004
-Amelia and the Angel (1958, 26 mins): Ken Russell's second short, made by the BFI’s Experimental Film Fund; a delightful mix of religious allegory and magical fantasy
-Original UK trailer
-Original US trailer -44-page illustrated booklet featuring new essays from Mark Kermode, Craig Lapper (BBFC), Michael Bradsell and Sam Ashby, plus film notes, biographies and credits

Ian Jane
02-06-2012, 12:28 PM
Forty years ago, The Devils caused outrage amongst audiences and critics after one of the longest-running battles with the BBFC was resolved and the film finally opened in cinemas. Now recognised as a landmark in British film history, The Devils finally gets its DVD premiere on 19 March, released by the BFI in the original UK X certificate version, accompanied by a wealth of new and exciting extra features and a 44-page illustrated booklet.

The death of director Ken Russell, in November last year, sparked an outpouring of tributes from both the film industry and fans. This 2-disc Special Edition release of what many consider to be his greatest work is a justly fitting tribute to one of Britain’s true mavericks.

The Devils is based on John Whiting’s stage play and Aldous Huxley’s novel. In 17th century France, a promiscuous and divisive local priest, Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed), uses his powers to protect the city of Loudun from destruction by the establishment. Soon, he stands accused of the demonic possession of Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave), whose erotic obsession with him fuels the hysterical fervour that sweeps through the convent.

With Ken Russell’s bold and brilliant direction, magnificent performances by Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, exquisite Derek Jarman sets and a sublimely dissonant score by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, The Devils stands as a profound and sincere commentary on religious hysteria, political persecution and the corrupt marriage of church and state.

Ian Jane
02-24-2012, 09:54 AM
The BFI just uploaded this bad boy to their youtube channel:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCF2S3vchE4

paul h.
03-08-2012, 12:23 PM
A review of the BFI Devils dvd has surfaced.

http://www.mondo-digital.com/devils.html

So it's not the "director's cut", still missing two pieces (the "rape of Christ" sequence, and the bone bit at the end). Still, it sounds like an excellent disc, and the best presentation yet.

Ian Jane
03-08-2012, 12:28 PM
DVD Beaver (http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/dvd_reviews56/the_devils.htm) had good things to say about it too. Nice to see this FINALLY get a respectful release despite the missing footage.

The Hungarian Inframan
03-17-2012, 03:59 PM
is the missing footage available anywhere?

Ian Jane
03-17-2012, 04:32 PM
Yep. There's a bootleg of the full uncut version but it's the wrong aspect ratio (it's 1.78.1 vs. 2.35.1).

Ian Jane
07-12-2012, 09:43 AM
Watched Altered States last night via the new Blu-ray, it looks and sounds very good. No extras aside from a trailer, but I kind of expected that.

The movie holds up well, though it ends so abruptly that it does hurt it. The build up is great though. William Hurt is great in the lead and the effects, if dated, are still very, very cool. Just a trippy, weird, smart sci-fi horror mix up, really. Russell's made better films but this is still very solid.

Ian Jane
01-24-2013, 10:31 AM
Blu-ray.com posted this yesterday afternoon: (http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=10333)

"Bel Air Classiques have revealed that they are planning to bring to Blu-ray acclaimed director Ken Russell's (The Music Lovers, The Devils) Valentino (1977), starring Rudolf Nureyev, Leslie Caron and Michelle Phillips. The preliminary release date set by the studio is March 1.

The world's most celebrated dancer, Rudolf Nureyev, portrays Rudolph Valentino, the silent screen's most renowned lover, in this flamboyant film fantasia that also features Leslie Caron and Michelle Phillips.

Note: In the United States, Valentino is currently available only on DVD, through MGM's MOD program."


5459

Ian Jane
03-12-2013, 09:50 AM
Mondo Digital reports on an English friendly Japanese release of Mahler (http://www.mondo-digital.com/mahlerblu.html) - which I didn't even know existed. Rad.

Richard--W
03-12-2013, 02:10 PM
Watched Altered States last night via the new Blu-ray, it looks and sounds very good. No extras aside from a trailer, but I kind of expected that.

The movie holds up well, though it ends so abruptly that it does hurt it. The build up is great though. William Hurt is great in the lead and the effects, if dated, are still very, very cool. Just a trippy, weird, smart sci-fi horror mix up, really. Russell's made better films but this is still very solid.

Altered States was controversial when it was new. No one had ever seen anything like it before. It shocked people as much as The Devils had.

I saw a test screening of Altered States at Cinema 21 in San Diego in April or May 1980. It was for adults only and was nearly three hours long. The audience reaction was loud and enthusiastic if somewhat stunned. Ken Russell was there and many industry insiders including Blair Brown's agent. When the film was released in December we went to see it again and were surprised at how much had been cut. It had been cut to get an R rating. Some of it was just tightening things up but many scenes had been shortened and entire scenes were cut. Most of Blair Brown's nudity, all the full-frontal nudity, and an explicit sex scene between William Hurt and his young medical student had been cut. An intermediate transformation scene vitally important to the story was gone. Heated debates in long dialogue scenes were sorely missing; they were both funny and dramatically important. Elaborate f/x shots involving religious imagery and sex during the drug trips had been cut. The film had been made less provocative. I had posted about this on another forum several years ago. I was very disappointed that Warner Brothers didn't reach into their vault and pull this version out for a hi-def scan when they were preparing the blu-ray. It was a finished film, not a rough cut.

I've come to love the Altered States that got released but the test screening was a very different and much better film. Intellectually and dramatically it just towered over most films at the time. It still does.

Ken Russell is dead. Long live Ken Russell.

Ian Jane
03-12-2013, 02:58 PM
That's interesting Richard. I'd love to see that excised footage surface some day.

Richard--W
03-12-2013, 04:53 PM
Instead of excised footage in a supplement I wish WB would simply release the longer director's cut. Let everybody see the director's original vision. Since it was a finished film, which survives in the vaults, why not? They'd get more sales out of a longer director's cut anyhow.

Ian Jane
07-18-2013, 08:46 AM
The Devils was voted favorite BFI release in a recent poll of 6500 people. (http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/announcements/bfi-dvd-blu-ray-poll-results)

Sadly, it still doesn't look like there's a Blu-ray in the works.

paul h.
07-18-2013, 06:26 PM
Instead of excised footage in a supplement I wish WB would simply release the longer director's cut. Let everybody see the director's original vision. Since it was a finished film, which survives in the vaults, why not? They'd get more sales out of a longer director's cut anyhow.

I'd really love to see that longer ALTERED STATES cut. I'd buy it right away, and I might even buy two copies. Seems like there's enough controversy surrounding the entire production to justify a special edition with interviews and documentaries. That would be nice. I wonder if the surviving principal actors would be game?

Ian Jane
07-07-2014, 02:20 PM
Coming to Blu-ray from Kino 10/7/14...

10618

Tom Clark
12-11-2014, 06:50 PM
Interesting video from Mark Kermode:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBZ5bl8sYY4&list=UUCxKPNMqjnqbxVEt1tyDUsA

More on del Toro's comments mentioned in the video: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/guillermo-del-toro-slams-warner-752240

Ian Jane
07-27-2015, 01:29 PM
From Kino's FB page:

"Coming Soon on Blu-ray!

Ken Russell's VALENTINO (1977) Starring Rudolf Nureyev, Leslie Caron, Michelle Phillips, Carol Kane and Seymour Cassel - Co-written and Directed by Ken Russell."

13426

Ian Jane
11-02-2015, 10:40 AM
From the BFI's latest newsletter:

Two Dual Format Edition box sets will showcase Ken Russell’s brilliant television films from the Sixties.

· Ken Russell: The Great Composers brings together his career-defining work for the award-winning arts documentary shows Monitor and Omnibus: Elgar (1962), The Debussy Film (1965) and Delius: Song of Summer (1968).

· The second box set, Ken Russell: The Great Passions, collects together three great works about iconic artists: Always on Sunday (1965) about Henri Rousseau; Isadora: the Biggest Dancer in the World (1966) about dancer Isadora Duncan; and Dante’s Inferno (1967) about Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his model Elizabeth Siddal.

· Complementing these BBC TV sets is the UK High Definition premiere of Valentino (1977). Released in a Dual Format Edition, this flamboyant and sexually-charged film explores the life of one of the silver screen’s greatest legends.

Randy G
11-03-2015, 03:29 AM
What would you say is Russell's best film, besides The Devils?

Dom D
11-03-2015, 03:46 AM
I don't much like The Devils. Big fan of Lair Of The White Worm though. Nutty price of craps though it may be. And Gothic. Gothics terrible but kind of compulsive viewing.

Tom Clark
11-03-2015, 08:37 AM
What would you say is Russell's best film, besides The Devils?
My personal favorites:

Lair of the White Worm
Gothic
Crimes of Passion
Altered States
Lisztomania
Whore
Tommy
Mahler

If your feeling extra adventurous there's always his last feature Fall of the Louse of Usher which he basically shot in his backyard with a camcorder.

Matt H.
11-04-2015, 05:02 PM
My favourite is CRIMES OF PASSION

Matt H.
11-04-2015, 05:07 PM
His segment in the otherwise awful TRAPPED ASHES is great, as well. It has some really disturbing images.

Randy G
11-05-2015, 03:09 AM
Yeah, I love LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM. Only saw it once, would be good for a revisit. Gothic is a bit of a blur too.

Are his D.H. Lawrence adaptations any good?

Paul L
11-05-2015, 03:18 AM
Yeah, I love LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM. Only saw it once, would be good for a revisit. Gothic is a bit of a blur too.

Are his D.H. Lawrence adaptations any good?
WOMEN IN LOVE is exceptional. I'm not so keen on THE RAINBOW but that's not to say it's a bad film by any stretch of the imagination.

Ian Jane
01-21-2016, 12:33 PM
Press release from the BFI!

14691

Valentino

A film by Ken Russell

Starring Rudolf Nureyev

With Seymour Cassel, Felicity Kendal, Leslie Caron, Michelle Phillips, Carole Kane

Controversial British director Ken Russell (Women in Love, The Devils) tells the story of one of the silver screen's greatest legends, Rudolph Valentino, in this flamboyant and sexually charged film. Made in 1977 and previously unavailable on Blu-ray, it will be released in a Dual Format Edition (contains both Blu-ray and DVD discs) by the BFI on 29 February 2016. The film is presented with numerous special features including an audio commentary, a new interview with cast member Dudley Sutton and other interviews.

Starring world-famous ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev alongside Seymour Cassel (Faces, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums), Felicity Kendal (The Good Life, Rosemary & Thyme), Leslie Caron (Gigi, An American in Paris), Michelle Phillips (Knots Landing, Forest Gump) and Carole Kane (Annie Hall, Dog Day Afternoon), Valentino traces the adored silent film actor’s journey from humble beginnings as an Italian immigrant in New York, where he worked as a gigolo, to Hollywood, where he seduces famous lovers and ascends to stardom. Despite such towering success, tragedy beckons however, as Rudy falls prey the mass-hysteria of his audience, the blood-thirsty press and his own indulgent lifestyle.

Valentino is an enthralling biopic from one of Britain's most distinctive and celebrated filmmakers and is the first of three DVD/Blu-ray releases of Ken Russell films by the BFI this year, five years after his death in 2011. On 28 March, Ken Russell: The Great Composers (containing Elgar, The Debussy Film and Song of Summer) and Ken Russell: The Great Passions (containing Always on Sunday, Isadora and Dante’s Inferno) will be released in Dual Format Editions.

Special features

Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
Audio commentary with Tim Lucas
Original TV spots and trailers
Dudley Sutton Remembers Ken Russell and Filming Valentino (2016, 22 mins)
The Guardian Lecture: Ken Russell in conversation with Derek Malcolm (1987, 89 mins, audio with stills)
Lynn Seymour remembers Rudolf Nureyev (2003, 9 mins, audio with stills)
Tonight: Nureyev on Ken Russell and Valentino (1977, 10 mins)
Stills and Special Collections gallery (2016, 10 mins)
The Funeral of Valentino (1926, 9 mins)
Textless opening and closing credits
Isolated music and effects track
Illustrated booklet with extensive credits and newly commissioned essays

Product details
RRP: £19.99 / Cat. no. BFIB1234 / Cert 18
UK / 1977 / colour and black and white / English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / 128 mins / Original aspect ratio 1.85:1 / BD50: 1080p, 24fps, PCM stereo audio (48k/24-bit) / DVD9: PAL, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (224kbps)

BFI releases are available from all good home entertainment retailers or by mail order from the BFI Shop Tel: 020 7815 1350 or online at www.bfi.org.uk/shop

Ian Jane
01-21-2016, 12:34 PM
Also, the email that included that press release stated "The first of three Ken Russell DVD/Blu-ray releases from the BFI this year is the flamboyant and sexually charged Valentino (1977)."

No idea what the other two releases are yet, but that's good news regardless.

Mark C.
01-21-2016, 07:49 PM
http://i68.tinypic.com/14e80hx.jpg
http://i63.tinypic.com/203wr4.jpg

Ian Jane
03-01-2016, 02:46 PM
Ken Russell The Great Composers: Elgar; The Debussy Film; Song of Summer

These astonishing documentaries, by ground-breaking director Ken Russell (Valentino, The Devils) were originally broadcast in the BBC TV arts documentary strands Monitor and Omnibus during the 1960s. On 28 March 2016 they will be released together on DVD and Blu-ray in a Dual Format Edition by the BFI.

Each film has an audio commentary, and in a new filmed interview, film editor Michael Bradsell talks about working with Ken Russell. Also included is rarely-seen archival footage of Sir Edward Elgar.

Elgar (1962), Russell’s tribute to the music he loved, is remarkable for its sensitive portrayal of the rise of a young musician from an underprivileged background to international fame. The Debussy Film (1965), co-written by Melvyn Bragg, is a truly experimental work that culminates in a sublimely ethereal finale. Perhaps the finest of Russell’s 1960s biographical BBC productions, Song of Summer (1968) is an immensely moving story of sacrifice, idealism and musical genius which charts the final five years in the life of Frederick Delius.

Special features

Newly remastered and presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
Land of Hope and Glory (1931, 3 mins): footage of Sir Edward Elgar conducting the LSO at the opening of the new HMV (now Abbey Road) studios
Elgar and the Three Choirs Festival (Harold Brooke, 1929-1932, 9 mins): amateur footage of Elgar at home and at the Three Choirs Festival
Michael Bradsell Interview (2015, 10 mins): the film editor talks about working with Ken Russell
Ken Russell and Michael Kennedy audio commentary for Elgar (2002)
Newly commissioned commentary by Kevin M Flanagan for The Debussy Film
Ken Russell audio commentary for Song of Summer (2002)
30-page illustrated booklet with new essays by Kevin M Flanagan, John Hill, John C Tibbetts, Paul Sutton and Michael Brooke, and full film credits

Product details

RRP: £29.99/ Cat. no. BFIB1244 / Cert 12 / 3-disc set

UK / 1962 + 1965 + 1968 / black and white / English, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / 56 mins + 82 mins + 73 mins / original aspect ratio 1.33:1

1 x BD50: 1080/50i, LPCM 2.0 audio (48kHz/16-bit) / 2 x DVD9: PAL, 25fps, Dolby Digital 2.0 audio (320kbps)

Ken Russell The Great Passions: Always on Sunday; Isadora; Dante’s Inferno

These three spectacular documentaries by controversial director Ken Russell (Valentino, The Devils) were originally broadcast in the BBC TV arts documentary strands Monitor and Omnibus in the 1960s.

On 28 March 2016 they will be released together on DVD and Blu-ray in a Dual Format Edition by the BFI. Among the many extras, each film has an audio commentary, and in a new interview, film editor Michael Bradsell talks about working with Ken Russell.

Always on Sunday (1965), a dramatised exploration of the naif painter Henri Rousseau, sees Russell reunited with Melvyn Bragg and Oliver Reed in one of his most charming and delightful documentaries. Isadora (1966), Russell’s exuberant study of the outrageous American dancer Isadora Duncan, is probably the film that best encapsulates the director’s attitude to art and creativity. In Dante's Inferno (1967) Oliver Reed gives a smouldering performance as the Pre-Raphaelite poet and painter, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. This startling and bold film is one of the most ambitious that Russell made for the BBC.

Special features

Newly remastered and presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
Late Night Line-Up: Russell at Work (Ian Keill, 1966, 31 mins): documentary shot during the making of Isadora
Michael Bradsell Interview (2015, 18 mins): the film editor talks about working with Ken Russell
Brian Hoyle audio commentary for Always on Sunday
Paul Sutton audio commentary for Isadora
Brian Hoyle audio commentary for Dante’s Inferno
The Paul Sutton Tapes: alternative audio track to Isadora, comprising interviews which Paul Sutton conducted with the cast and crew between 2008 and 2012
30-page illustrated booklet featuring new essays by John Wyver, Kevin Jackson, Christophe Van Eecke, Brian Hoyle, Paul Sutton and Michael Brooke, and full credits

Product details

RRP: £29.99 / Cat. no. BFIB1245 / Cert 12 / 3-disc set

UK / 1965 + 1966 + 1967 / black and white / English, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / 45 mins + 64 mins + 88 mins / original aspect ratio 1.33:1

1 x BD50: 1080/50i, LPCM 2.0 mono audio (48kHz/16-bit) / 2 x DVD9: PAL, 25fps, Dolby Digital 2.0 audio (320kbps)

Ian Jane
01-27-2017, 10:33 AM
Coming From Warner Archive 2/21/17... (http://amzn.to/2kAR96I)

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51CuVYspQKL.jpg

Ian Jane
02-09-2017, 11:37 AM
Aria is coming to BLu-ray soon.
(http://amzn.to/2ls7Ott)
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51B0rAZW71L.jpg

Tom Clark
03-15-2017, 10:38 PM
Ken Russells widely banned The Devils makes a surprise appearance on Shudder
(http://www.avclub.com/article/ken-russells-banned-masterpiece-devils-makes-surpr-252125)

Tom Clark
06-21-2018, 05:37 PM
Lisi Tribble on the latest Criterion Now podcast. Lots of Ken talk. https://criterioncast.com/podcast/criterion-now/criterion-now-episode-58-september-2018-announcements-ken-russell

Dark Horse 77
06-21-2018, 05:59 PM
I'd really love to see the longer version of Altered States. Ken is really underrepresented on R1 DVD.

Derrick King
09-29-2018, 12:58 AM
Good News: The Devils is streaming on FilmStruck. Bad News: it is the 108 minute censored cut.

Ian Jane
09-20-2019, 02:45 PM
I don't wanna get my hopes up or anything but...

23389

Dark Horse 77
09-20-2019, 03:51 PM
I don't wanna get my hopes up or anything but...

23389

I will keep my hopes in check as well. For now...

Derrick King
09-20-2019, 06:24 PM
I assume it'll be the same cut that streamed on FilmStruck.

Paul L
09-20-2019, 07:10 PM
A friend of mine told me a great story about Ken Russell but, as much as I'm tempted to, I really don't feel comfortable sharing it online...

All I feel like saying at the moment is that THE DEVILS is fuggin' profound. Exactly how profound it is seems to grow with each year I spend on this planet.

Randy G
09-26-2019, 02:14 AM
Vanessa Redgrave's performance in THE DEVILS is for the ages.

Mark Tolch
10-01-2019, 07:39 PM
I assume it'll be the same cut that streamed on FilmStruck.

It's the 108-109 minute version, so it looks like it.

Tom Clark
10-01-2019, 08:02 PM
I recently found out that one of Ken Russell's favorite movies was Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. This is awesome.

Mark Tolch
10-01-2019, 08:04 PM
I recently found out that one of Ken Russell's favorite movies was Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. This is awesome.

That's pretty random hahaha.