I had just created a Ken Russell christmas card, mentioned him in the Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz, and also mentioned him in an upcoming post on THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, which shows nothing except that Ken Russell is never far from my mind. By way of alternative to the boring obituaries on offer on the TV news, a stream-of-consciousness stagger through selected images follows —

A bleached, chalky face turns away and a little figure diminishes into a bleached, chalky landscape, between skeletal figures broken on wheels —

A nude woman turns into a stone sphinx and is eroded by blasting red desert winds —

Concertgoers decapitated by cannon-blasts —

Camera tilts down a metal staircase to a fallen figure, the stairs turning to red at the point of impact —

“A work of art is not restrained, Picasso was not restrained, Mahler was not restrained…”

Anthony Perkins at the piano sings “Get Happy” —

A peaceful little lakeside shack explodes in an abrupt fireball —

Ann-Margret wallows in baked beans and chocolate —

Ringo Starr as the pope, his vestments decorated with images of silent film stars —

Leslie Caron as Nazimova vamping around Valentino’s coffin —

Dudley Sutton lashes a statue’s buttocks with a red paintbrush —

Peter Capaldi, playing bagpipes, dances round a sundial pursued by a portly vampire policeman —

Salome’s dance, in which she morphs between male and female —

Nude descending a staircase —

Eyeballs for nipples (and you can read that any way you like) —

Manly men confronting each other in a room of mirrors: infinite recession. One mirror cracked —

The rape of Christ on the cross, filmed from above like a Busby Berkeley dance number, plus orgiastic crash-zooms —

The battle on the ice from Alexander Nevsky restaged with American Nazis vanishing under the ice flow —

Rousseau talking to his painted lion at bedtime.

4 Responses to “Phantasmagoria”

  1. I don’t know if you saw but Adam Curtis’ latest blog was also serendipitously Ken-heavy:

  2. Nice stuff in today’s Guardian from some of the Great Man’s collaborators.

  3. erna thomas Says:

    Women in Love is simply superb!

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