Lives on Film: Auto/Biographical Fiction and Documentary Film Studies


"Pity we aren’t madder": Ken Russell links in his magnificent memory

“I think we’ve all gone mad” [Jennie Linden as Ursula Brangwen]
“Pity we aren’t madder” [Alan Bates as Rupert Birkin] 
 Scene from Women in Love (Ken Russell, 1969)

An extract from one of Ken Russell’s very first films, Amelia and the Angel (1958) 

Film Studies For Free was saddened to hear of the death yesterday of the magnificent filmmaker Ken Russell. A monumental passing. But what a cinematic life he lived!

Russell’s weirdly, viscerally, brilliant Altered States (1980) was one of the first films genuinely to whet FSFF‘s author’s off-beat cinematic appetite, and his adaptation of Women in Love (excerpted above) and his portraits of Elgar (1962), Delius (1968) and Mahler (1974) are several of her favourite British films.

Below, FSFF has gathered some links to online scholarly studies of Russell’s work, and to related  resources. Readers should also check out David Hudson’s essential collection of tributes to, and other material about, the British filmmaker for the Mubi Notebook here.