Tag Archives: Berlinale

Issue 61: Ken Russell

The Devils

Ken Russell: Master of Excess

In March we celebrate the flamboyant brilliance of the late British director Ken Russell with articles on The Devils, his famously outrageous depiction of possession in 17th-century France, released on DVD in its original version for the first time, his psychedelic drug movie Altered States, his take on Byron and Shelley’s famous ghost story writing competition Gothic, and Savage Messiah, his portrayal of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, as well as a defence of his much decried Litztomania and an article about his fraught relationship with the press. In this month’s Alter Ego, Nick Harkaway is Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer in Billion Dollar Brain while Reel Sounds is about Russell’s composers and we have a Comic Strip Review of Women in Love.

In cinemas we review Werner Herzog’s death row documentary Into the Abyss, uncompromising Spanish award-winner Black Bread, disquieting Austrian paedophile portrait Michael, Argentine corruption drama Carancho and Norwegian thriller Babycall. We have a feature on Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan to mark the release of Once upon a Time in Anatolia and an article on avant-garde Japanese filmmaker Sh&#251ji Terayama, whose work is being shown at Tate Modern.

In the DVDs, we look at Polish master Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s 1959 Night Train and affecting, original A Horrible Way to Die. CineLit reviews books on Spaghetti Westerns while in the Jukebox East Asian culture connoisseur and DJ Zo&#235 Baxter picks her favourite films. In the blog, we report back on the Berlinale and FrightFest Glasgow.

Exploring The Lair of the White Worm: In a panel discussion recorded at The Horse Hospital arts club after a screening of Ken Russell’s lurid Bram Stoker adaptation on Wednesday 14 March, Mark Pilkington discusses The Lair of the White Worm (1988) with BFI Flipside programmers Vic Pratt and Will Fowler, touching on the legend of the Lambton Worm, titillation and absurdity in British cinema and Russell’s three-picture deal with Vestron Pictures in the 1980s.

Ken Russell: ‘All Art Is Sex!’: In a special programme to honour the late Ken Russell, Virginie Sélavy is joined by Strange Attractor Press editor Mark Pilkington, Electric Sheep contributor Richard Bancroft and Electric Sheep assistant editor Alex Fitch to discuss the director’s achievements, including The Devils, Altered States, Lair of the White Worm, Lisztomania, Dance of the Seven Veils and Music Lovers.

Issue 37: Guy Maddin

The Saddest Music in the World

Guy Maddin: The poetic, macabre and playful visions of a wonderfully twisted mind

March is all about Guy Maddin and we celebrate his genius with articles on Careful and The Saddest Music in the World, a Reel Sounds column on modern silent films and a double bill at the Prince Charles Cinema.

In the new cinema releases, we look at Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Iranian musical subversives in No One Knows about Persian Cats and Argentine woman-in-prison drama Lion’s Den. You can also read a feature on Tom Harper’s The Scouting Book for Boys and an interview with Peter Greenaway for Nightwatching. And we have an article on Mexican 70s horror movie Alucarda, which we are proud to be presenting at the Flatpack Festival on March 26.

In DVD releases, we have a comic strip review of metaphysical comedy Cold Souls and an interview with Antonio Campos for his brilliant debut Afterschool. In our blog section, you can read our final dispatches from the Berlinale, which include a review of Banksy’s Exit through the GIft Shop, and reports on the International Rotterdam Film Festival and the PhotoFilm season.

In Short Cuts, we have a feature on Monuments, which screened at Rotterdam last month while mythogeographer Phil Smith is Mick Travis in our Alter Ego column and Josiah Wolf tells us about the films that have marked him in the Film Jukebox. And you can read the winner’s entry in our Kiss Me Deadly writing competition.

PODCASTS: Listen back to Alex Fitch’s interview with Peter Greenaway for Nightwatching, a dramatisation of the theory that Rembrandt included clues to a murder mystery within the imagery of his masterpiece, The Nightwatch. In the podcast, Greenaway discusses the crossover between filmmaking and fine art and the master painter Rembrandt’s position as a pioneer of both.