Based on the book of the same name by H.S. Ede, eccentric director Ken Russell created this biographical drama of a great early 20th century artist who died tragically young. Henri Gaudier (Scott Anthony) is only 18 years old, a self-taught Parisian sculptor of enormous talent but prone to rash, exuberant behavior. Henri meets and begins a platonic but emotionally intense relationship with Sophie Brzeksa (Dorothy Tutin), a cultured Polish woman 20 years his senior. The relationship between Henri and Sophie remains inspired and impassioned, if not sexual, and her air of intelligent refinement positively impacts his life and work. Eventually, the couple moves to London, where Henri takes his partner’s last name, and his star rises in the art world as the chief proponent of Vorticism, an offshoot of Cubism and Futurism. In real life, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska was a signer of the Vorticist Manifesto and a founder of The London School along with his patron, Ezra Pound, but his genius was not recognized until after his death. Gaudier-Brzeska was killed at the age of only 24 in WWI, a French Army hero who had been twice promoted for bravery.
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
"Art is alive. Enjoy it, laugh at it, love it or hate it but don't worship it. Hang it on your walls, wipe your arses off it but use it".
At times really funny, other times very great drama. Ken Russell's direction is great as always. Great over the top acting in some cases but once in while there are flashes of brilliance.