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 Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, ...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 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 »
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 »
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 »
Story of the night that Mary Shelley gave birth to the horror classic "Frankenstein." Disturbed drug induced games are played and ghost stories are told one rainy night at the mad Lord ... 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 »
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 »
The mock "Polish folk song" that Sophie (Dorothy Tutin) sings at the posh dinner party was "composed" (improvised) by the actress herself. See more »
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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Savage Messiah is perhaps the least famous of Ken Russell's biopics from the early-to-mid 70s. He made films about Tchaikovsky (The Music Lovers), Lizst (Lizstomania), and Mahler (Mahler) during this period, and in this offering his subject is the French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Gaudier-Brzeska, though not a household name, is certainly an interesting character and this film is a worthwhile experience for anyone who wants to find out more about him, or anyone who has an interest in his career.
It is, however, typically erratic and in-your-face, as most of Russell's pictures are. There's sex and nudity, lots of bitter and angry dialogue, and heaps of soul searching. In real life, Gaudier-Brzeska married a Polish noblewoman twenty years his senior and was tragically killed during WW1. Russell revels in exploring the complexity of their relationship, but he makes little of Gaudier-Brzeska's wartime experiences (which in actual fact might have been well worth showing in more detail).
I like this film because it is fast-paced, unconventional and witty. Having said that, I wouldn't put it in my list of all time favourites because it lacks warmth and narrative clarity. It's not as intense as Russell's The Devils, but it stands alongside that film of one of his better motion pictures.
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