Paris, 29 November 2011
At a time when British cinema seemed to exist only by
his social realism, Ken Russell made him less insular
by the vigour of its universe without borders. Director
emblematic of the 70s, the intemperance of his works will have
marked his time as much as the spirits. His excesses will have him
earned a sultry reputation, the excesses of which were often
Fellinian genius and sometimes the frenetic provocateur.
The terrible child had become a master of the baroque style, combining with
fracas iconoclastic violence and unbridled sexuality in scenes
close to hysteria. But behind the extravagance of the director
subversive hidden a scholar, amateur and cultural admirer
French. If in 1970, «Les diables» with Vanessa Redgrave,
already told the inquisitor France of Richelieu, the director
devoted a feature film to the sculptor Henri Gaudier-
Brzeska or an enlightened documentary about the customs officer Rousseau.
With his white mane and his adventurous face
pressured Jean-Luc Godard or George Delerue who
will compose several soundtracks. Respect and passion
which the French Hexagon gave back to him on several occasions, by giving him
at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974 or by inviting him to the film festival
Gérardmer in 1997 as President of the Jury.
The audacity of this whimsical artist unleashed passions and
censors, but in terms of its paradoxically peaceful disappearance, more
no one would dare doubt the importance of the print he leaves on
the English seventh art.