The day all the movie screens shed silver tears
We miss Ken Russell. We are crying, we reminisce and wish perhaps selfishly that he could have lived for decades longer but we must first and foremost remember his family and his beloved wife Lisi are feeling immense loss and sadness now. They've lost a father, grandfather, uncle, former husband, best friend, colleague, lover, soulmate and life partner. For those of us who are in his extended fan family of millions we have must send love and light to Ken's spirit and those who were nearest and dearest to Ken now-they need it the most.
The past 24 hours have been a blur. I had a feeling something was out of balance before I went to bed on Sunday night via Facebook (actually I knew but did not want to believe). Later I had a dream in which I was in a night time cavernous but beautiful NYC library talking to an old friend Richelle Benway, my late cat Smokey alongside us. In the dream I was giving the concept for a wonderful screenplay in Russel-vision from start to finish. It is so wonderful that I will not divulge the plot because it is such a fantastic idea!
I woke up thinking about the upcoming Devils region 2 release. After so much editing I actually thought of suggesting to Ken that a PG13 version be created for secondary schools and those Christians who do not see R rated or above films like my friend who is a JW.. If the film is now to FINALLY take on its rightful incarnation including what will now be assuredly a long awaited FULL restoration (the cut to be released will not include the Rape of Christ scene or Sister Agnes "solo" but now we know it will be pushed forward) then why not drastically cut it on purpose for younger audiences? This may or not make any sense of course but in my studies of Ken's work I try to exam different concepts. Later I looked at my son's pjs covered in rockets, stars and planets and wondered why it all gets solid colours and taupe around 11 years or so and how Ken always wore bright and wonderful colours like a child his entire life. So I had a few things to tell him Monday morning. I've tried to maintain a friendly but respectful distance on Facebook. it has been an honour to be able to communicate with such a great artist while gleaning as much as I can from his generous spirit. I was just going to make a brief hello.
Then I read the news today. As if by media sanctioned "artistic miracle grow" the tributes and reappraisals have begun* as Ken Russell is "trending". Well he's been trending in our lives for ages folks. I know I'll never stop missing him so I honestly cannot comprehend how his loved ones must feel.
When his essence pours forth within this next week and in the months and years to come though we will all feel collectively proud and protective. We will be the ones to dispel the myths and point out the hidden treasures in Ken Russell's glorious oeuvre when people meet him in their own lives for the first time.
*When longtime semi-foe (after all his best friend Russ Meyer tried very hard but could never be Ken Russell) Roger Ebert was displaying a rather tacky silence I reminded him that he was being rather tacky. A few hours later a sketch (a poor one) appeared of Ken at Cannes in 1987. Apart from Ebert all the tributes have been deservedly loving.
Labels: Ken Russell 1927-2011