Ken Russell’s second Monitor-sponsored trip to the north of England (following Miners’ Picnic, tx. 3/7/1960) is a portrait of the writer Shelagh Delaney that was broadcast exactly two months before her 21st birthday. Despite her youth, at the time of filming she already had two plays to her credit, A Taste of Honey (1957) and The Lion in Love (1960). —screenonline
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