Both trifles and structure are tossed out the door by director Ken Russell in this film. Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, ... See full summary »
The battle of the sexes and relationships among the elite of Britian's industrial Midlands in the 1920s. Gerald Crich and Rupert Berkin are best friends who fall in love with a pair of ... See full summary »
The assistant stage manager of a small-time theatrical company (Polly Browne) is forced to understudy for the leading lady (Rita) at a matinée performance at which an illustrious Hollywood ... See full summary »
A send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer/piano virtuoso Franz Liszt, with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the film devoted to Liszt's "friendship" with fellow ... See full summary »
Late on Guy Fawkes Day, 1892, Oscar Wilde arrives at a high-class brothel where a surprise awaits: a staging of his play "Salome," with parts played by prostitutes, Wilde's host, his lover ... See full summary »
The thirty year-old hard-worker Bobby Grady is married with two children with the frigid Amy Grady and their marriage is in crisis. Bobby is invited to work in the night shift for the owner... See full summary »
Scottish archaeologist Angus Flint discovers an odd skull amid the ruins of a convent that he is excavating. Shortly thereafter, Lady Sylvia Marsh returns to Temple House, a nearby mansion,... See full summary »
In 1926 the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female moviegoers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. ... See full summary »
The prostitute Liz works on the streets of Los Angeles. She recalls her life in flashback, when she marries an alcoholic man. She leaves him with their son. Then she works as waitress in a ... See full summary »
Sophie, a native speaker of Polish, is shown mispronouncing the Polish word rysowac' 'to draw': she says REE-so-vak although the correct Polish pronunciation is (approximately) rih-SOH-vats' (with the final -ts' sound pronounced palatalized, almost like -tch). See more »
My book is about sleep; that thick oily substance. Under the surface you float; half dreaming, half waking. Hidden, you hope, yet the world comes though. You cannot imagine the ways I've evolved to abolish myself there... under the surface. Half sleeping. Half waking. Leaving your worries and your clothes asleep. But the rent never sleeps and time never sleeps.
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Ken Russell's most underrated film and one of his better ones
Ken Russell always has been a controversial film-maker, interesting and unique certainly but did have a tendency to resort to excess that could cheapen things. If we exclude his composer documentaries on Elgar, Delius and Debussy(wasn't crazy about the one on Richard Strauss), which are even better than any of his feature films, Savage Messiah is an underrated film. Maybe it could have had more time to breathe in places, while the deliberate pace was very effective there was a tendency to have a restless vibe, and more could have been done with Gaudier's war-time experiences, it was still affecting but compared to the love relationship it did seem on the brief side. However, it does rank alongside Women in Love, The Devils, The Music Lovers and Mahler as one of his better films(of his feature films the only one that I'm iffy about is Lisztomania). It is opulently and atmospherically filmed- if not as much as Valentino or The Music Lovers- and the production values are just as much and even more so. The classical music doesn't feel too much of a hodge-podge and is placed remarkably well, not feeling misplaced. Debussy is the most frequently used, and the impressionist style of his music is beautiful and powerful and judging from how many times his music has been used in his films Russell seems to think so as well. The script is dialogue-heavy and that it was very articulate and had genuine bite too is most admirable with a healthy balance of comedy and tragedy, while the story always engages and the platonic love relationship is told with emotion, while not exactly warm it's hardly hollow, and a sense of fun. Russell's direction is ideal for the subject matter and the story that's been told, like with Valentino for example you can tell he was having fun directing but he also does so with restraint, especially when being compared to Tommy or Lisztomania. There are some great touches here, those who say Helen Mirren's staircase scene is unforgettable are absolutely right, matching Leslie Caron's funeral scene entrance in Valentino in sensuality. The vegetable chopping scene is just as savage as the dialogue and you cannot fail to be moved by the final tragic 10 minutes. The performances while theatrical are fine, Scott Anthony does overact at times but carries the film excellently. Dorothy Tutin is superb as is Helen Mirren(one of those women who still does look amazing, always a standout at awards ceremonies). Overall, one of Russell's better films and deserving of more recognition, it is nice to see though that there are people who remember it very fondly. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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