Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ken Russell and The Female Form

Beauty mortally wounded. "Aria" Puccini's, Turandot segment featuring sumptuous British pin-up model Linzi Drew.

My take (censored) on Ken Russell's Nessun Dorma
Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson, Women in Love 1970
Ken's film direction embrace all trim female shapes. His actresses do not have one set look or body type. After being a fan of the Russ Meyer aesthetic (massive preferably natural breasts, a tiny waist and hips about ten inches wider than the waist but not wider or as wide as the chest)  I'm definitely a convert to Ken's far less rigid standards. Don't get me wrong, he has exacting preferences as all male directors do for female beauty but Ken respects the individuality of the actress's physique (as much of a tool of the trade as the voice) rather than forcing each woman into an inflexible, prescribed archetype.

Ken Russell's lead actress usually have extensive dance training (many of the extras in his films are classically trained ballerinas or move like them) and are required to dance in some capacity. Many walk, run, fight and dance naked too. And despite purposefully shooting Glenda Jackson's topless scenes when she was further along in her first pregnancy, unlike the rest of western civilization, Ken Russell does not put a premium on big breasts. Helen Mirren, though not a dancer, appears equally as gracefully as the human ascending and descending nude in "Savage Messiah" who strikes one deliciously figure flattering pose after another.

Here is a selection of Ken's beautiful actresses with links NSFW:

Michelle Phillips "Valentino" 1979

Hourglass Goddess Helen Mirren

Dorothy Tutin in a non Ken Russell film

Georgina Hale, Ken Russell perennial
Georgina Hale as Alma Mahler

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Blogger par.nordstrom said...

And Ken´s rite : Beaut women are BEAUT, noooo matter what hip to waist ratio ./ What does a man look at first ? 1. Boobies ? Booty ? Legz ?/ No ! EYES !!! / Food for thought , gals !!! ?

9:17 PM  
Blogger grace said...

I like his approach to beauty and women. Women are all beautiful. There shouldn't be just one shape, or a "Barbie" type.

I really must start watching some his movies.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous david said...

so you have a picture of dorthy from the wizard of oz up there right. did ken russel make the wizard of oz

4:10 AM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

Hi David, that picture is of Dorothy TUTIN not to be confused with Dorothy Gale of Kansas who was played by Ken's cousin Marion. ;)

4:35 AM  

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