2 items from 2011
Oscar-nominated maverick found inspiration for his work in music and literature
After a film career full of wild drama, gaudy conflagrations and operatic flourishes, the director Ken Russell died quietly in hospital on Sunday afternoon at the age of 84, after suffering a series of strokes. – effecting a quiet, discreet exit from the comfort of his hospital bed. "My father died peacefully," said his son Alex Verney-Elliott. "He died with a smile on his face."
Known for his flamboyant, often outrageous brand of film-making, Russell made movies that juggled high and low culture with glee and invariably courted controversy. His 1969 breakthrough, the Oscar-winning Women in Love, electrified audiences with its infamous nude wrestling scene, while 1971's The Devils – a torrid brew of sex, violence and Catholicism – found itself banned across Italy and was initially rejected by its backer, Warner Bros. His other notable films include Altered States, The Boy Friend and Tommy, »
- Xan Brooks
• Ken Russell: a career in photos
Known for a flamboyant style developed during his early career in television, Russell's films mixed high and low culture with rare deftness and often courted high controversy. The Devils … a religious drama that featured an infamous scene between Oliver Reed and Venessa Redgrave sexualising the crucifixion – was initially rejected by Warner Brothers. It will be released in its entirety in March next year, 42 years after it was made, when it will form part of the British Board of Film Classification's centenary celebrations.
Women in Love, released in 1969, became notorious for its nude male wrestling scene »
- Henry Barnes, Catherine Shoard
2 items from 2011
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