The second of the BFI’s Ken Russell releases is another two disc collection bringing together four films from 1965-7, dealing with the lives of Henri Rousseau, Isadora Duncan and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The second of the BFI’s Ken Russell releases is another two disc collection bringing together four films from 1965-7.
The collection opens with Always on Sunday (1965) a dramatized examination of the painter Henri Rousseau. The combination of Russell reuniting with Melvyn Bragg and Oliver Reed and Russell’s infectious love of the film’s subject results in a film which is illuminating in every frame.
Isadora: The Biggest Dancer in the World (1966), a study of the outrageous American dancer, Isadora Duncan, starring Vivian Pickles as the dancer whose obsession with the importance of art and complete disdain for decorum chimes perfectly with Russell’s own sensibility.
Last of the TV dramas is Dante's Inferno (1967) which tells of the complex relationship between the 19th-century artist and poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his model Elizabeth Siddal.
The films in this collection have been remastered to High Definition, and are presented on Blu-ray for the very first time.
• Late Night Line-up: Ken Russell at Work (1966): documentary showing Russell at work on various BBC TV documentaries, discussing his methods and filmmaking philosophy
• Interview with editor Michael Bradsell (2015): the editor discusses his work with Ken Russell
• Illustrated booklet with essays and full credits.