Ken Russell Stephen Farber - Essay

Stephen Farber

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Even] Russell's bitterest enemies would not deny that he has his own distinctive vision. His baroque visual effects are easily identifiable…. Characters and episodes from one film are re-interpreted later….

These relatively simple connecting links point to a more comprehensive thematic unity. Many of Russell's obsessions can be traced to his television films. One of the quintessential Russell images appears in Dante's Inferno, his film on Dante Gabriel Rossetti, when the poet, who has buried a volume of poetry with his first wife, goes to dig up the coffin and retrieve the poems—art snatched (quite literally) from the jaws of death. Russell is haunted by images of physical and mental...

(The entire section is 1703 words.)