Name in the News

2006 Encounters Short Film Festival

Friday 6th October 2006 - Watershed Media Centre, 1 Canon’s Road, Bristol

Encounters Short Film Festival

Divine Madness & The Savage Messiah!
Ken Russell in conversation with Mark Kermode at 2006 ENCOUNTERS SHORT FILM FESTIVAL - 12th Bristol International Short Film Festival

Legendary British Director, the original enfant terrible, and so-called ‘Savage Messiah’, Ken Russell, will make a rare public appearance next month at Bristol’s Watershed cinema as a guest of the UK’s biggest short film festival, Encounters International Film Festival, (21-26 November, www.encounters-festival.org.uk).

Ken will take part in an on-stage discussion – the BAFTA Short Film Paradise on Friday 24 November, 8.15pm - with film critic and broadcaster, Mark Kermode. He will reveal the films that have influenced him, discuss why, at 79, he is still passionate about cinema, and present a selection of his recent experimental short films, including Lion's Mouth and The Revenge of the Elephant Man.

A unique stylist and truly individual film voice who has directed over 20 feature films in career spanning nearly 20 years, he is much maligned and misunderstood, who is one of the UK’s most imaginative, important and visionary cinematic innovators. While never consciously courting controversy via the strange, powerful and often deranged imagery that proliferates his films, Russell has become the most controversial British director of all time. Sadly his contribution to British Cinema has been neglected of late, which has led one leading film critic to describe him as “a prophet unrecognised in his home country”!

His screen credits include: the film that established his career, the Oscar and Golden Globe winner (‘Best Actress’ for Glenda Jackson) the hugely successful, Women in Love; The Who’s rock musical Tommy; the biopic Valentino with Rudolf Nureyev in the title role; sci-fi thriller Altered States; Crimes of Passion, his tale of obsessional love starring Kathleen Turner and Anthony Perkins; the controversial The Music Lovers, a biopic of Tchaikovsky which dwelt upon his homosexuality, and the much maligned and misunderstood The Devils, which has in recent years undergone a dramatic reassessment thanks largely to the efforts of film critic Mark Kermode.

Ken Russell’s career began with the early shorts Peepshow and Amelia and the Angel that led to a long and distinguished period at the BBC, where he produced a large body of work for the ‘Monitor’ and ‘Omnibus’ strands. Amongst his best-known works from this period were the highly original documentaries Elgar, The Debussy Film, Isadora Duncan, the Biggest Dancer in the World, and Song of Summer.

Russell is in currently in pre-production on two films The Pearl of the Orient and Kings X, whilst 2007 sees the release of the horror anthology Trapped Ashes to which he has contributed a segment. Ken also appears on screen with cameo roles in the recently released Brothers of the Head and future release, Colour Me Kubrick.


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