“We begin tonight with the comedy – Ken Russell’s version of The Diary Of A Nobody by the Brothers Grossmith. Ken Russell, who will be remembered from his many Monitor films, including those on Elgar and Bartok, has been an ardent admirer of this Victorian novel for many years. The film he has made of it is unusual, hilarious, and, at heart, very tender. It is an account, in the style of the early movies, of the life of a Victorian City clerk, Mr Pooter. We see Mr Pooter’s fervent desires for the well-being of his family coming to fruition – and sometimes coming to grief.” —Radio Times, December 10, 1964 – Article by John McGrath
British director Ken Russell started out training for a naval career, but after wartime RAF and merchant navy service he switched goals and went into ballet. Supplementing his dancing income as an actor and still photographer, Russell put together a handful of amateur films in the 50s before being hired as a staff director by the BBC. Russell made a name for himself (albeit a name not always spoken in reverence) during the first half of the ‘60s by directing a series of iconoclastic TV dramatizations of the lives of famous composers and dancers. And if he felt that the facts were getting in the way of his story, he’d make up his own — frequently bordering on the libelous. If he had any respect for the famous persons whose lives he probed, it was secondary to his fascination with revealing all warts and open wounds.
A film director since 1963, Russell burst into the international consciousness with 1969’s Women in Love, a hothouse version of the D.H. Lawrence novel. No director… read more