Ken Russell: A Look at the Artist's Biography
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The authoress examines the issue of British biographical films. Making references to the most known biopics, Alexander Korda's 'The Private Life of Henry VIII', David Lean's 'Lawrence of Arabia' and Richard Attenborough's 'Chaplin', she traces the manner in which the biographies of historical figures have been dealt with. She points to the peculiar traditionalism of the directors who tried to promote national heroes, to remain faithful to facts and to render the socio-political atmosphere of the time period. She also points to the 'subversive trends' of the directors who treated historical figures with less profound reverence. Ken Russell, with his films 'The Music Lovers', 'Mahler' and 'Lisztomania', is one of the directors, she says. In her view, the common feature of the film portraits of the artists is oneiric imagery, lack of logical dramatic construction and peculiar and pretentiousness. The films also visualize the director's personal obsessions, which makes them particularly prone to various interpretations. In the conclusion the authoress says that it is necessary to re-define the term film biography with reference to the films by Russell.
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