I was saddened to hear that the grand old man of British cinema, Ken Russell, had passed away this week. I have seen most of his films and enjoyed them immensely. My favourites are the great composers series he did for the BBC such as Elgar, Strauss and Delius, "Lair of the White Worm" (absolutely hilarious!) and the documentary he made about his own life which stared his little son (so sweet!). Bits of The Who's "Tommy" were also pretty terrific but my all time, hands down favourite Ken Russell film is the musical "The Boy Friend". Have you seen it? It's set in the 1920s and tells the story of the stage production of a musical by an English theatre troupe. It is very, very funny, beautifully acted and exquisite to look at. Think Georges Barbier meets Busby Berkeley via swinging sixties London! Twiggy, its star, is ravishing as are the costumes and sets. There is a a very good review of it here.
I was lucky enough to actually see Ken Russell being interviewed on the stage at the State Theatre many moons ago as part of the Sydney Film Festival. It was an absolute honour to hear him speak and answer questions. He was totally naughty, disobedient and hilarious!
Goodbye to a great British artist.