Monday, November 28, 2011

Ken Russell R.I.P.


I woke up to the very sad news this morning that the great Ken Russell has passed away at the age of 84. I first discovered Russell's films of as a teenager in the eighties when I first saw his searing and unforgettable Crimes of Passion. I soon immersed myself in as much of his work I could find at the time and everything from Women in Love to The Lair of the White Worm became favorites of mine. While he made many films that I count among the best of British Cinema, the film by Russell that has continued to haunt me in the twenty or so years since it first shook my world is The Devils, a film which I count among the great works of art I have ever seen.

I'm still trying to process the fact that Ken Russell has left us but I did want to send good wishes to his friends and family on this very sad day. For fellow fans, pull out your favorite film from the great man and rewatch it with the kind of awe and respect all of his work demands.

6 comments:

dfordoom said...

Not just an underrated director but a misunderstood one. He always regarded himself as a Catholic and to see The Devils as anti-Catholic or anti-religion is to completely misinterpret it.

Jeremy Richey said...

Wonderful point D. THE DEVILS is at its heart a very spiritual film.

dfordoom said...

These days audiences are so accustomed to moral and spiritual nihilism in movies that I think they find it difficult to appreciate the work of someone like Russell who, whatever his faults, could never be accused of mere fashionable nihilism and pessimism.

Prestidigation said...

Thanks so much for this post, Jeremy. Dfordoom is right. Ken meant to promote the true spirit of the Faith as it stands untouched by hypocrisy, lies or political manipulation. Let's hope The Devils will come to be seen as the inspiring and ultimately spiritual masterpiece it is someday. – Lisi Russell, Ken's wife

Prestidigation said...

Thank you for your comments, Jeremy Richey. Dfordom and you are right. In the Devils, Ken meant to promote the true spirit of the Faith, uncorrupted by political agendas and mass hysteria. Let's hope it will be re-evaluated in future. He was a great director and a great and lovely man, our Ken. – Lisi Russell, his wife

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks so very much Lisi. I am very honored to have your comment here. Ken's work meant a great deal to many of us and we are all still so very sorry for your loss. Thanks again for visiting and for your comments. All the best to you.