Movie News

Ken Russell
1927-2011

Published at: Nov. 28, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

Beaks here...

In an interview with The Guardian's Stuart Jeffries last April, Ken Russell recalled a childhood spent in the cinema. From a very young age, he would seek refuge there with his mother - who was shielding her son, and herself, from his abusive father. Much to his chagrin, Russell's mother favored love stories. But on several occasions, he'd venture out to the movies by himself. And that's when the magic happened.

"A man felt my leg during PINOCCHIO."

It's a throwaway moment in the interview, but there's something to this awful transgression of a sexual nature occuring in the middle of Walt Disney's classic about a puppet attempting to prove himself brave, truthful and unselfish in order to become a real boy. The intent of Disney's film has been utterly perverted by a handsy pedo. Quintessential Russell.

This distasteful encounter, it seems, ended there, but Russell's career as a provocateur was only just beginning. Throughout his eclectic career, Russell challenged sexual conventions and attacked religious convictions. His masterpiece was probably WOMEN IN LOVE, an adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel which won Glenda Jackson a Best Actress Oscar while giving audiences an eyeful of Oliver Reed and Alan Bates in an infamous nude wrestling scene. And then there was THE DEVILS, a film that so inflamed critics and religious leaders at the time that Warner Bros. still refuses to officially release it on Blu-ray or DVD.

There is much to say about Russell's phenomenal and quite contentious career, and I'll write further as soon as soon as I return from a screening. In the meantime, there's a terrific selection of obits and and other remembrances compiled at MUBI. Of course, feel free to share your thoughts about Russell in the talkback below.

Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Tommy

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    can you hear me?

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by KilliK

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:20 p.m. CST

    RIP DUDE

    by LarryTheCableGuy

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:23 p.m. CST

    A true Auteur

    by DrMorbius

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Holy Moley! I love his work, but his face looks like

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    my liver.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    THE DEVILS seriously needs a BLU-RAY

    by melonman

    Visually it's genuinely stunning, and a fitting tribute to a career studded with off the wall electrifying cinema. Would have expected a better obit, or at least a mention of ALTERED STATES, TOMMY and THE BOY FRIEND or even BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN and CRIMES OF PASSION. You're not doing him justice.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:42 p.m. CST

    And then ...

    by The StarWolf

    There's the line in an Alexei Sayles show episode where the titular star is listing off Great Mysteries Of The Universe and concludes with "And why do people keep giving Ken Russell money to make movies?" LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM, anyone? WHORE?

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:52 p.m. CST

    I'll miss him.

    by no-no

    My favorite movie of all time: The Boyfriend!!! A guilty pleasure: Crimes of Passion & Altered States.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:53 p.m. CST

    PINOCCHIO

    by Eddie_Dane

    it can be argued that the movie's intent was actually fulfilled by the handsy pedo

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Great in The Russia House....Rip Ken

    by SmokieGeezer

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    ken russell's career started on tv...

    by emeraldboy

    on the bbc arts show Monitor which was created by the late huw weldon. who has a bafta named after him such was his immense contribution to tv in its early days in the uk especially at the bbc..russells contemporary in monitor was Melvyn Lord Bragg. and they have remained friends ever since that day nearly 50 years ago.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    i should add that he started in photography before...

    by emeraldboy

    moving into tv... and the documentaries..then the bbc.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:04 p.m. CST

    the devils is to be released uncut in 2012

    by john

    pretty much proof that the man was far ahead of his time man got a bad rap in hollywood after altered states think the hollywood of today would care that he was hard to work with? altered states was not only a brilliant movie...it made the caishe saw tommy at the coronet in sf in its first run, when i was 14...only way to see the film...on the big screen with a great sound system...and eff the critics...the movie was brilliant

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:04 p.m. CST

    LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM

    by Dark Knight Lite

    Good times.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:05 p.m. CST

    On this iPhone, at first I thought it read "Keri Russell"

    by YackBacker

    Holy god that would have been tragic.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Upset - this world needs Ken

    by david starling

    I remember seeing the Devils on BBC2 in 1995 - powerful, it made me uncomfortable and very aware. Which is all Ken, really. I also loved Altered States, and Tommy - still love Tommy to bits!! Preferred it infinitely to Quadrophenia. But two things point out Ken Russell to me most: (1) He made Oliver Reed a legend on screen. (2) His review of the Peter Greenaway classic The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover on a UK Southern regional TV magazine, in which he slaughtered it as unfeeling, gross tripe - gotta love that!! He was more of a Director than Kubrick or Malick, to me at least - more character in his films. If he had flaws, at least he admitted them. God bless you Ken.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Tommy Saved My Life!!

    by venvariants

    I was at a major low in my life when a friend of mine got me high and turned me onto Tommy. I began obsessing on it, and it changed everything for me. I owe my life to that movie, I really do.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:09 p.m. CST

    choppah, stop with your stupid joke....

    by CullenisPrime

    and lets just remember his is role as Felicity

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:13 p.m. CST

    So, so, so UNDERVALUED.

    by Stewart Wolfe

    All but ignored for the past number of years, now only in death will the true extent of his quite amazing film and TV career be recognised. And you know what? The same thing will happen with that other great iconoclast Nicholas Roeg. RIP Mr Russell.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Harry here. Now that he's dead

    by JRcanReid

    I can tell you that Ken Russell and I used to hang out at a local Dairy Queen. We'd shoot the shit and he bounce script ideas off me and I'd tell him, "That sucks" or "That's nice. I like that." And he'd roll with that. R.I.P.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:30 p.m. CST

    The Lair Of The White Worm

    by Walterego

    Surprised that most reviewers aren't mentioning this movie, it says a lot that this cutting edge film was probably his most accessible work. For most people 40 or under, this was the introduction to Russell's films (or else Tommy). There's a Monty Python bit poking fun at Russell and explicit movies of his like The Devils. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBcQsm56Jtk

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:31 p.m. CST

    If I was Bill Gates or the Facebook guy, or had a billion dollars..

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    Both Ken Russell and Terry Gilliam would have been getting $20 million dollar checks from me every year to keep their cameras rolling..

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST

    I did not know he did Whore!

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    God I loved that movie. Between that, White Worm, and Tommy, I think I've got a better idea about his style and will definitely be investigating the rest of his work.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    walterego

    by slone13

    You are correct, sir. Lair of the White Worm was indeed my first introduction to Russell. It led me to Altered States, Tommy, Gothic, etc.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Shabby video release treatment

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    Here's hoping his death brings some decent copies of his films to DVD/Blu Ray. Besides of course The Devils, we need Music Lovers and Lisztomania to get proper releases. For those interested, The Boyfriend and Savage Messiah just came out through the Warner Archive. (The Boyfriend print looks great I have to say, having only ever seen it before in cropped TV format), and are a must for any fan of his work.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    THE DEVILS is such a great film.

    by fustfick

    Funny, provocative, disturbing, sad....brilliant. Everyone should see it. RIP Ken Russell.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:55 p.m. CST

    I once saw part of The Devils flicking channels.

    by hallmitchell

    The images are still burned in my head. Nuns ripping off their clothes screaming, Guys in KKK looking gear running show trials. A head trip of a film and i only saw five minutes.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 1:57 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by GARY MAKIN

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Ken Russell's Critically Acclaimed Altered States

    by Ines5

    Ken Russell's 1980 Film Altered States is a combination of both Horror and Science Fiction which Starred William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban and even a very young Drew Barrymore among others is a True Artistic Motion Picture Masterpiece!

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Farewell you big red faced maniac!!!

    by cushing1967

    Ken Russell is probably one of the most important film directors that Britain has ever produced and it’s a wee bit of a shame that he is quintessentially remembered for Oliver Reed and Alan Bates wrestling naked and masturbating nuns because he was so much more. He contributed an excellent film to the spy genre with Billion Dollar Brain, he contributed to the science fiction genre with Altered States and to the horror genre with The Devils and the, in my opinion, misunderstood sheer nonsense of Lair of the White Worm. Any film that has a man taking a mongoose from his sporran to fight a snake demon wins a pass in my book just for the sheer subversive gall of it. His DH Lawrence adaptations are magnificent. However it was his sheer love of music and his ability to weave films from that love that appeals to me most. Tommy and The Boyfriend are amazing musicals at such polar extremes that they almost complement each other but for me it’s the insanity of Lisztomania that really cements his place as a force of nature that happened to have a camera crew nearby. I would have loved it if Ken Russell had directed Pink Floyd – The Wall rather than Alan Parker. I loved that Ken Russell recognized that Ollie Reed was capable of greatness and wish that they had worked together more as they seemed to complement each other beautifully on an artistic level. I detest some of his movies – Gothic is to my mind diabolically bad but I still love that he made these movies. I also love that he kept filming even when no fucker would give him any money. I remember watching a television show that had footage of him making The Fall of the Louse of Usher in a local pub with a bunch of Goth girls in rubber nun dresses and I thought God bless you Ken Russell. He loved film and lectured on it at Southampton University – a friend of mine was on the course said he was incredibly nice and deeply in love with film. I also love the fact that fucked off out of Celebrity Big Brother after having to argue with dead celebrity dimwit Jade Goody. Go onto Youtube and watch A Kitten for Hitler if you haven’t watched it – you may think it’s bollocks, I think it’s genius bollocks! Cinema has lost someone very important and largely ignored today and that’s sad. ‘Reality is a dirty word for me, I know it isn't for most people, but I am not interested. There's too much of it about.’ Ken Russell

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 2:20 p.m. CST

    I love Altered States

    by disfigurehead

    RIP

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Lurid Genius

    by loki965

    I will miss his twisted sense in movies. Altered States, Salome's Last Dance, Lair of the White Worm. Man what a trip.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 2:27 p.m. CST

    "Altered States" parody/tribute snippet:

    by ufoclub1977

    http://vimeo.com/28599590

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Could you find a worse picture? Geez...

    by impossibledreamers

  • "...better than Wilson or all of those crappy people could ever hope to achieve!!!" Russell was definitely an interesting bird. RIP.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    A Mad Genius - irreplaceable

    by radii

    The Devils Lair of the White Worm Altered States ... he was our Fellini - a true surrealist

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 3:10 p.m. CST

    This is more like it!

    by AsimovLives

    Thanks for the obituary, short as it was (yeah, Ken Russell, deserved a longer obituary). The news of a release of THE DEVILS on DVD/blu-ray is good news. WB having withhold it's release for fear of the religious right just proves what a bunch of pussies the studio people are. Holywood liberal my ass! Holywood kisses the midwest's ass, and that's the truth.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Lair of the White Worm

    by AsimovLives

    Saw it recently. an interesting movie, to put it mildly. ol' ken was not shy to put sex onscreen, something most pussies making movies today are too affraid to, unfortunatly. fuck, i miss all the sex that existed in the 1970s movies.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST

    His face still looks better than Bane's. Just saying.

    by TheBigLeBronski

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    When I studied film at Southampton Uni

    by savagedave

    I remember Russell viewing one of mates short films that he'd made, and slating it. A tenuous, Harry Knowles style claim to fame, to be sure. Check out this trailer for one of his later works http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV4SUd2EdeQ

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Asi - the food critic

    by cushing1967

    I was a fan of Ken Russell's and was not aware of the food critic thing - are you sure you might not be getting him mixed up with Michael Winner? Who is a British director with white hair and a penchant for rape scenes in his movies but apart from that is someone who somehow managed to direct a few good films early in his career and then just defecated all over cinematic history like an incontinent baboon with shitty, shitty films that somehow managed to attract people like Charles Bronson and Burt Lancaster. He is responsible for the worst high end film of the 20th Century when he made Bullseye with Roger Moore and Michael Caine and really is a fucking pompous waste of space... and a food critic. I hate Michael Fucking Winner! I may be wrong but I never read any of Russells food reviews.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST

    I loved WHORE, it was brilliant!

    by Spandau Belly

    I was always hoping for WHORE 2.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 3:51 p.m. CST

    cushing1967

    by AsimovLives

    you could be right, i might be mistaking for michael winner... i know, an unforgivable mistake!

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 3:54 p.m. CST

    cushing1967, you are right

    by AsimovLives

    ken russell's other works beside moives in the 2000s was writing book about the sex life of famous conposers and a very violent SF book about the retelling of Genesis. sounds cool!

  • i couldn't take receiving the news of his dead right now or the near future.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Lair of the White Worm

    by fitzcarraldo2

    Had a VHS copy of this when I was about 14. Nearly masturbated myself into a coma. Mmm... Amanda Donohoe.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 4:05 p.m. CST

    That's okay Asi

    by cushing1967

    They looked slightly similar - complete polar opposites in terms of style and attitude but they both had alcoholic faces and white hair - oh and at the end couldn't get finance for films. Sad in one case a blessing in the other :) Oh, and Mike and Gaby's Space Gospel is magnificent!!!

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 4:08 p.m. CST

    spandau belly

    by Guy Grand

    Unfortunately there was a "Whore 2." I say unfortunate because it was not directed by Russell. It was some hack, straight-to-video Canadian flick with some tiresome, pretentious actress and lead actor.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 4:20 p.m. CST

    The Lion Has Stopped Roaring -- remember Lisztomania!

    by Guy Grand

    RIP Ken. Outside of his autobiography, you should really pick up his book, "The Lion Roars" where he rips into all sorts of films, not sparing his sharp wit on anyone. If you want sheer lunacy, check out his Roger Daltrey opus "Lisztomania!" Nothing beats the finale when the narrative whirls delightfully apart in a chaotic, nonsensical meltdown of Wagner being resurrected as a Thor-like Frankenstein monster, accompanied by Hitler youth in Friedrich Nietzchian-Superman costumes, mowing down Jews with his machine gun-guitar, only to be stopped by a dive-bombing Liszt in a makeshift cathedral-organ jet plane. Some serious spleef needs to be indulged in to truly enjoy this wonderful world of inspired mindfuckery.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 4:23 p.m. CST

    The Music Lovers and Mahler...

    by workshed

    ...two of my faves but his greatest is The Devils. Time for a bluray please WB.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 5:21 p.m. CST

    I clearly recall watching the Siskel & Ebert review for GOTHIC --

    by MooseMalloy

    -- and thinking to my junior high-aged self that I really had to see that movie. I did, and many other Russel films after that.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 5:22 p.m. CST

    One of the last true artists in film.

    by baronweazle

    His films were often incomprehensible, but they always had a vision and more importantly, he seemed to always make the exact film he intended to make. I still laugh out loud during his commentary on Tommy, when he audibly cringes at the shot where the statue falls and breaks(eyesight to the blind) and he tells how displeased he still is, because that shot wasn't framed a little more to the left. R.I.P. Ken russel, a true visionary.

  • Or at least that's what he claimed. He seemed a sincere and honest man though, so I believed him. Always seemed funny to me, that a guy who comes up with some of the trippiest images imaginable, has never done any drugs himself.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 5:41 p.m. CST

    RIP Kurt Russell.

    by Yoda's Ball Sack

    Sad day indeed.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 6:40 p.m. CST

    BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN

    by SnootyBoots

    The first film he directed is the third Harry Palmer movie about a crazed Texas oilman and religious fanatic who plans his own personal invasion of the Soviet Union from Finland. Perhaps a job to get his foot in the door of movie directing and not a personal project like his fabulous features to come, but I think it's grand and his my favorite Ken Russell directed movie.

  • That was funny.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Amanda donohue that is

    by Bobo_Vision

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 7:14 p.m. CST

    "a man felt my leg during pinocchio"

    by Bobo_Vision

    Luckyyyyyyyyyyy.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 7:42 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. to the enfant terrible

    by Riff_Randell

    Loved your stuff man, my favorite director of all time.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Great Line in "Lair"

    by IamZardoz

    "Do you have children?" "Only when there are no men around."

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Gypsy the Acid Queen

    by IamZardoz

    Best part of the movie.....

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 7:59 p.m. CST

    His movies...

    by Riff_Randell

    were the kind of movies I probably shouldn't have seen at the tender age of nine, and yet I did. And I'm a better person for it. If by better you mean seriously warped, then yes, I mean better. Still love The Music Lovers after all this time. And Women In Love, Tommy, Altered States, Lisztomania. Too many to mention. Dude was my hero.

  • That is a true fact.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Just checked the thread over at Criterion

    by Riff_Randell

    Regarding the 2012 release of "The Devils." And well, it's not really uncut or complete. Damn!

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Aaaaah.

    by Roketopunch

    He lived a true full life and made some GREAT films. Altered States is one of my favorite films of the 80s. He will be missed.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 12:34 a.m. CST

    RIP Ken

    by Con Shonnery

    He was a wonderful, eccentric pain in the establishment's ass whose work was never boring. And, as a teenager he made my life complete with Savage Messiah thanks to it's prolonged scene of a full frontal nude Helen Mirren in her prime.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 2:31 a.m. CST

    Cronenberg's The Fly was inspired by Altered States

    by chien_sale

    That's what I loved about The Fly in that it was one guy in his lab trying to do the impossible. And Altered States was even greater. One guy became a man-fly, the other pierced the mystery of the Universe and almost became God.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 5:08 a.m. CST

    Elgar

    by Mr Gorilla

    His BBC film on Elgar is absolutely amazing, and well worth picking up. When I saw it I totally revised my feelings about Russell, it's intelligent, passionate, visionary, humorous. British film has lost one of its greats.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 7:37 a.m. CST

    THE DEVILS is great.

    by AsimovLives

    And the fact the movie got so much problems from the religious right is proof that mankind is still very fucked up.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 7:54 a.m. CST

    High Praise

    by Aquatarkusman

    "Glenda Jackson MP, who won an Oscar for her role in his film adaptation of Women In Love, hailed Russell’s ‘incredible visual genius’. She said: ‘He created the kind of climate in which actors could do their job, and I loved him dearly.’" Although Tommy made me want to claw my eyes out, his period films were vibrant in a way that Merchant Ivory/The King's Speech people have never been able to touch (maybe only Mike Leigh in Topsy-Turvy).

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 8:37 a.m. CST

    BEAKS, you've got a dangling modifier in your article.

    by Daniel_S_Duvall

    Beaks writes: "Much to his chagrin, Russell's mother..." This is a grammatical error known as a dangling modifier. If you're unfamiliar with this term, use Google to educate yourself.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Ken Russell told me once that

    by Seph_J

    he had been offered the job of directing Predator! Can you imagine that!

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Recently watched Salome's Last Dance

    by Asimov_Lives

    it's one of those freaky midnight movies. a play within a play. Oscar Wild is watching his play Salome being preformed in a brothel. Reminds me a lot of Peter Greenaway's work. Surprised to hear that Russell was such a critic of his successor in the English absurd.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Beaks!!! What Screening Are You At?

    by cushing1967

    Matrjoschka? When are you going to give the man the obit you said you would as soon as you came back from the screening?

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Asi - Greenaway

    by cushing1967

    All style and absolutely no substance seems to have been Ken Russell's opinion about Greenaway and I tend to agree.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 2:30 p.m. CST

    I said, look into my eyes!

    by oisin5199

    I can't believe only one other person has mentioned Gothic. This movie kinda changed my life when it came out during my high school years. Gabriel Byrne as the lascivious, club-footed Byron, Julian Sands (fresh off A Room With a View, when he was still considered a leading man) as Shelley, the late and wonderful Natasha Richardson as Mary Shelley. Thomas Dolby soundtrack. That's right. Thomas Blinded Me with Science Dolby. The scene eye-nipples (taken from one of Shelley's poems) remains one of the most disturbing images of modern cinema. Also love: "Lightning is the fundamental source of the universe! The ether! The spirit!" This film sparked my love of the Romantics (not the band) and inspired me to actually read Frankenstein. RIP Ken Russell

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 3:10 p.m. CST

    cushing1967

    by Asimov_Lives

    I have to disagree that Greenaway's films have zero substance. He is an intellectual and there are many literary allusions in his work, particularly derived from ancient Greek and Rome. The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and Her Lover is based on the vulgar satires of the Romans, particularly the "dinner party" or feast theme. That said, I will say that Greenaway's work is more cold, intellectual and academic than Russell's. But I think they both deal with the absurd and surreal and allude to literary sources while often exploring similar themes in modern culture.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Asi

    by cushing1967

    Maybe substance isn't the right word - I guess what I dislike about Greenaway's movies is the lack of heart (?) His films are amazing to look at and I get the artistic allusions that he makes but I don't think he writes good characters - I think his films (the three that I've seen) are full of cyphers rather than anyone that seems remotely realistic. I get that's probably part of his aesthetic but it doesn't work for me at all in any meaningful way. Ken Russell and Nic Roeg (a bit of a creative soul mate to Russell) films have an amazing visual feel but also a narrative that features complexity that in my limited experience Greenaway seems to sacrifice for the visual artistry.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 4:05 p.m. CST

    cuching, did you see 8 1/2 Women?

    by Asimov_Lives

    I think it has some good character work, albeit not very likable characters. That said, it's not a great film by any stretch of the imagination. I see your point and kind of agree. I'm not a huge Greenaway fan. But, I find his films interesting. And they do stimulate my intellect. Not just my senses. It think your right though. I don't think he's interested for the most part in character development. It is definitely part of his aesthetic especially in TCTTHWAHL. You're always aware when watching a Greenaway film that you are indeed watching a film. And that is by design. And interesting considering the fantastical, absurd and surreal nature of his films. I'll have to check out some of Nic Roeg's work. Damn, The Man Who Fell to Earth was just re-released recently at my local art house theater and I missed it. My friend has been trying to get me to watch Eureka for awhile now. And it's streaming on Netflix.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    No, I never saw 8 1/2 Women

    by cushing1967

    I sort of realised I was done with Greenaway after Zed and Two Noughts, Belly of an Archirtect and The Cook, The Thief... However, I would urge you to catch up with as much Nicolas Roeg as possible - his first three solo movies are almost cinematic perfection in my opinion - Walkabout particularly haunts me to this day (it's one of those movies that you can see hundreds of times but the first experience of watching it just permeates your mind). Eureka is great and I would also say Castaway is definitely worth watching. It's amazing what taking Tom Hanks and a volleyball from a desert island and adding Ollie Reed and Amanda Donohoe and filming it 13 years beforehand and making it - well - making it well can do. In fact, apart from Puffball which I haven't seen I'd heartily recommend all of his films. I would hazard a guess that you'll like them immensely mate.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Thanks, cushing, I will definitely check them out

    by Asimov_Lives

    Performance, Bad Timing, Castaway, Eureka and Cold Heaven are all streaming on Netflix. Awesome! I love the opportunity to discover a filmmaker whose work is new to me. And since I'm a huge fan of Russell's work I'm pretty much guaranteed to dig Roeg. Think Criterion put out Walkabout on Blu-Ray.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 4:37 p.m. CST

    I'll be interested in your opinions Asi :)

    by cushing1967

    Though if you hate them and start calling him Nipple Roeg I might weep :)

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Roeg definitley cut from the same cloth

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    Performance makes a great double bill with Tommy or Lisztomania..

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Insignifance and Man Who Fell To Earth also got the Criterion treatment recently

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    Performance, Bad Timing, Walkabout, Don't Look Now, and TMWFTE are all essential Roeg and should be in every film lover's collection, IMHO - but then again I'm a serious Russell/Roeg junkie....

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 5:37 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by phantomcreeps

    Rest in peace. I always connect you with Lair of The White Worm. Alas, you did so much more. Sleep now in peace, young child.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Whore 2

    by mayorofsmpleton

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111706/ There was one, though without the original cast/crew. WHORE is a fantastic film. Sadly still unreleased on DVD or BD as of yet. Hopefully that will happen at some point. It's a gem.

  • Nov. 29, 2011, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Altered states and Tommy are favorites.

    by Player1

    Hurt didn't get an Oscar for states. They corrected that by giving him one years later for only 5 minutes of the awesome he was laying down in states. R.I.P.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3:16 a.m. CST

    guys, Asimov_Lives is not me. Just to be clear about that.

    by AsimovLives

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3:23 a.m. CST

    cushing1967

    by AsimovLives

    Well, not to play yhe devil's advocate, but THE COOK, THE THIEF, THE WIFE AND HER LOVER has some very good characters. Or maybe it's the actors who are so excelent (Michael Fucking Gambon, Hellen Sweet Mirren). My homonimous Asimov_Lives does make a good point in that that movie is based on ancient roman stories, namely Satyricon as the better known example. Those stories tend to got extreme of acceptability just for pure shock value. Greenway movies sure are pretty to look at, and their Michael Myman's scores tend to be rather excelent. But Greenaway is not one of those filmmakers i'm a groupie of.

  • Man, to lost the oportunity to watch THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH on the bif screen, where it belongs! Oh boy!

  • I think Eureka is quite underrated.

  • Though she's still a very attractive woman. She's absolutly MILF goodness!

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 5:52 a.m. CST

    Asi

    by MrLongbaugh

    Lair of the White Worm was made in 1988...not in the 70's. And just how much do you know about sex in movies from the 70's? Weren't you born in 1971? And what do you know about Hollywood? Ever been there? NOPE!! What do you know about the midwest? Ever been there? NOPE!!! You think you know everything about the U.S.. but you only visited this country for 2 weeks. You saw N.J., spent a day in N.Y.C., and a day in PA. Once again, showing that you think you know every thing.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:44 p.m. CST

    mrlongbaugh

    by AsimovLives

    Give me a break! You are not that obtuse, are you? you are just pulling my leg, have a laugh at me, isn't it? ahah, very funny!

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Asi

    by MrLongbaugh

    Have a nice weekend.