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Ken Russell: Re-Viewing England's Last Mannerist

Overview

For more than 40 years, Ken Russell has directed some of the most provocative, controversial, and memorable films in British cinema, including Women in Love, The Music Lovers, Tommy, and Altered States. In this anthology, Kevin Flanagan has compiled essays that simultaneously place Russell's films within various academic contexts-gender studies, Victorian studies, and cultural criticism-on the one hand and expand the foundational history of Russell's career on the other. Ken Russell: Re-Viewing England's Last ...

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Ken Russell: Re-Viewing England's Last Mannerist

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Overview

For more than 40 years, Ken Russell has directed some of the most provocative, controversial, and memorable films in British cinema, including Women in Love, The Music Lovers, Tommy, and Altered States. In this anthology, Kevin Flanagan has compiled essays that simultaneously place Russell's films within various academic contexts-gender studies, Victorian studies, and cultural criticism-on the one hand and expand the foundational history of Russell's career on the other. Ken Russell: Re-Viewing England's Last Mannerist recontextualizes the director's work in light of new approaches to film studies and corrects or amends previous scholarship. This collection tackles Russell's mainstream successes (Tommy, Altered States) and his seldom-seen masterpieces (The Debussy Film, Mahler), as well as his critical flops (Salome's Last Dance, Lady Chatterley's Lover). The book also includes information on Russell's most obscure television films, insights on his controversial films of the 1970s, and a new consideration of Russell's career in light of his recent return to amateur filmmaking. Representing a significant collaboration among scholars, Ken Russell: Re-Viewing England's Last Mannerist reflects a newly revived interest in the work of this important filmmaker.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of British Cinema and Television
Tom Wallis's essay on Tommy (1975) finds that both Russell and Townshend wish to 'transcend and parody' their respective genres, and treats the film in question with a sensitivity rare in writing on rock music which often oscillates between poles of enthusiastic fandom and Adornite misanthropy....In this book, Russell emerges, variously, as a profoundly aesthetic maker of lush costume drama, a gore maestro, pop artist, dogged amateur and commentator on the vagaries of Thatcherism....To say that a 'definitive' Russel does not emerge from this book of essays is far from a criticism— it is a testament to one of Britain's most visionary, contrary and multi-faceted film-makers.
May 2010 CHOICE
This is a worthy study of a director who moved too far toward the margins to endure.... Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810869547
  • Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/3/2009
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin M. Flanagan holds an M.A. in English/Film Studies from North Carolina State University and is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is editor of The Modest Proposal, an online journal of book reviews.

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