Ken Russell Joseph A. Gomez - Essay

Joseph A. Gomez

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Ken Russell's methods of adaptation and his extravagant style of filmmaking have been grossly misunderstood, but the usual naive pronouncements of film critics can no longer be considered justified. Ken Russell is not a "compulsive Hollywoodizer" who distorts facts in order to outrage audiences for the sake of pure sensationalism. He does not "murder" his subjects, and his films are not examples of "bad art". He is not motivated by sadism or "egoistic frenzy". He is not driven by cruelty or insanity to embrace excessiveness, and his films are neither "degenerate" nor "despicable". True, they do cultivate a baroque vulgarity, and they are frequently punctuated with bizarre humor which manifests itself in "camp" images,...

(The entire section is 587 words.)