A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 7 (Pop Aesthetics).


Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6.  The Use of Rock and Pop Aesthetics in Lisztomania (1975) and Tommy (1975). While the sociological reaction to classical music is a debatable area, Ken Russell had a … Continue reading

The Ravenous Poor in Heath Era British Cinema.


Trying to establish small cycles of trends in cinema is a key discipline in understanding the medium.  When a theme can be seen to traverse genre but be defined by era, it perhaps states more of a sociological argument than … Continue reading

The Beast (1975) – Walerian Borowczyk (Arrow Video).


By the mid 1970s, the ease in censorship over large swaths of Europe lead to cinema pushing boundaries and taboo like the medium had never done before.  The decade was awash with cinematic controversy and intelligent but often disturbing treatises … Continue reading

Red Shift (Play For Today, 1978) – John Mackenzie (BFI).

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A shifting sense of time, space, and place can bring huge advantages to fantastical works of fiction.  The feeling that time is a folded concept, repeating and resetting in a quasi-ritualistic ceremony of life adds a sheen of the monumental … Continue reading

The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 3 (William Ager).

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Part 1. Part 2. A “Disembodied Voice” of some form is a clear norm for representing a creature that, by its very definition, is now bodiless.  This means that, as an aural technique, it is used frequently throughout many other … Continue reading

A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 6 (Mahler).


Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Mahler (1974) and the Balance Between Personal Reception and History. Mahler is an apt end for this period in Ken Russell’s musical exploration for a number of reasons.  It firstly … Continue reading

The Folk Horror Chain.

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This article was originally a paper presented at Queens University Belfast at the first Folk Horror Conference on Friday the 19th of September 2014. Introduction/Thesis. Folk horror is a strange form of media.  It has a craving for the need … Continue reading

Blanche (1971) – Walerian Borowczyk (Arrow Video).


A palette of strange objects, muted imagery, and medieval oddness awaits the viewer of Walerian Borowczyk’s Blanche (1971); only the third feature film in one of the most surreal and haphazard cinematic careers of all European art house directors.  Though … Continue reading

The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 2 (The Disembodied Voice).

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Part 1. The Aural-Thematic Ties In BBC Ghost Stories. “He first began to write the ghost stories for which he is now famous in late 1892 or early 1893 while he was a fellow of King’s.  They were composed initially … Continue reading

A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness (2013) – Ben Rivers + Ben Russell.


Doused in a natural ethnography based upon the landscape, A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness (2013) is a strangely hypnotic mixture of fact and fiction by filmmakers, Ben Rivers and Ben Russell.  Both have come from making shorter works … Continue reading