Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ken Russell

I've been watching some early Ken Russell films for television, courtesy of this box set. Before Women In Love and all that Russell did a series of BBC specials about the lives of famous artists. So far I've seen the ones on Isadora Duncan and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Really pretty -- straight out of a period-style fashion shoot. Oliver Reed, playing Rossetti, sports a fine looking beard and gets up to his usual over-acting, which I love. The actress playing Duncan (second photo from top) is the mom from Harold & Maude! Very Trish Keenan in the tunic. The crazy-eyed, curly-haired beauty is model Gala Mitchell, mesmerizing if slightly creepy as Jane Morris (i.e., Mrs. William Morris). It seems like they should all start a prog folk band together. As a DVD extra there's also a nice documentary called "Russell at Work," where we see the man himself at home playing records and wearing a cool anorak and watch cap directing outdoor scenes.

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