Cardinal Richelieu and his power-hungry entourage seek to take control of seventeenth-century France, but need to destroy Father Grandier – the priest who runs the fortified town that prevents them from exerting total control. So they seek to destroy him by setting him up as a warlock in control of a devil-possessed nunnery, the mother superior of which is sexually obsessed by him. A mad witch-hunter is brought in to gather evidence against the priest, ready for the big trial. —Niz
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
Now that’s how you make religion interesting. A gaudy sideshow of debauched rituals, garish sets and lurid iconography; almost as dissonant is its self-fulfilling revelations to the effect where power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. Critically, Russell displays complete poise in his flourishes over the decidedly unholy procession and its tapestry of crazed repressed Catholics. Glory be.
A collection of movie posters that ignore the golden rule of movie posters.
Also: New Scope. London goes all out for Ken Russell. Nina Menkes in New York. Sean Lennon curates LA animation festival.
Also: Top animators sign on for an adaptation of Gibran’s The Prophet and the doc Liv and Ingmar is set for the fall.
The poet and playwright also wrote and performed for Ken Russell.
The British director was 84.
The BFI announces the first-ever release on DVD.
Robert Duvall and Bill Murray, Kevin Kline and Paul Dano, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. None of them are in Brett Haley's The New Year, but they
As the New York Asian Film Festival wraps today, the baton of genre weirdness passes on to San Francisco's Another Hole in the Head and
‘The Devils’, Ken Russell’s self-acknowledged most political film is set in a period where church and state were effectively the same thing and centres on the true story of Gallic priest Father Grandier… read review
I just saw “The Devils” at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.
Ken Russell was presented with a lifetime achievement award prior to the screening, and he introduced the film, as well. The… read review