Ken Russell Michael Dempsey - Essay

Michael Dempsey

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Compared to other Russell movies, Savage Messiah is actually rather restrained, although like them it gets involved in role playing, theatrical behavior, comedy, madness, and the transcending of everyday life. As Tchaikovsky does in The Music Lovers, Gaudier equates life and art. Like Tchaikovsky's women or Sister Jeanne in The Devils, Sophie lives in an ethereal realm of fantasy harshly at odds with the surrounding material world—in this case, a world of starving artist's poverty that requires her to grub for half-rotten vegetables or menial jobs and to hole up in a hovel that roars with the din of trains and traffic overhead. But here things change. Insanity, self-destruction, death menace or...

(The entire section is 915 words.)