Goodbye, Mr Naughty
Ken Russell, iconoclastic director of ‘Women In Love’, ‘The Devils’ and ‘Tommy’ has died at the age of 84. The archetypal naughty boy, he directed BBC biographies of musicians that gave way to excessive satires and biographies, including ‘The Music Lovers’ (Tchaikovsky), Liszt (‘Lizstomania’), Valentino, Mahler and Isadora Duncan. Much of his work remains unavailable on DVD.
Russell was about to appear on stage talking about ‘The Boyfriend’ at the National Film Theatre in December. The hoary old backstage musical was reimagined as a multi-layered satire that’s a love letter to provincial theatre, and is still a favourite of mine. The original clip has been deleted, so here’s a new one to mark the release of the director’s cut.
I love the change at about the 2 minute mark. At the time there was a lot of discussion about Twiggy setting off the Size Zero model fad (in 1971!)
I’ll be there at the NFT on the 29th December for its screening.