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2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2011

2 items from 2011

Provocative, Controversial Director Ken Russell Dead at 84: The Devils, Women In Love, Tommy

28 November 2011 11:33 AM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Director Ken Russell, best known for his movies featuring sex-starved nuns, nude male wrestling, "offensive" religious symbolism, and kaleidoscopic musical numbers, died Sunday, Nov. 27, in the United Kingdom. Russell had suffered a series of strokes. He was 84. Now hardly as remembered or admired as, say, '70s Hollywood icons Steven Spielberg, Robert Altman, or Martin Scorsese, Russell not only was — more than — their equal in terms of vision and talent, but he was also infinitely more daring both thematically and esthetically. In fact, Russell was so innovatively controversial that he was referred to as the enfant terrible of British cinema while already in his 40s and 50s. But if middle age brings out complacency and apathy in most people, its effect on Russell (born July 3, 1927, in Southampton) seems to have been the opposite. Following years of work on British television, Russell's 1969 film adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love »

- Andre Soares

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Gpo film-makers were pioneers, academic study claims

10 November 2011 5:38 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Documentaries made by the Post Office in the 1930s to highlight social issues heralded a new style of film-making

Pioneering documentary films made by the Post Office in the 1930s may look stilted and wooden now but they were actually the prototypes of a new type of film-making, a study co-authored by a Cambridge academic claims.

The short films, shown in cinemas before the main feature from the early 1930s onwards, were self-conscious advertising by the Gpo. But their makers, led by the great documentary director John Grierson, also sought to show contemporary British life and believed that they should have a "socially useful purpose", inspired by Soviet film-makers such as Sergei Eisenstein.

The unit's best-known film is Night Mail, made in 1936, showing the overnight express carrying the post from London to Edinburgh. It is part-scripted by Wh Auden with the famous refrain: "This is the night mail crossing the »

- Stephen Bates

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