Monday, November 28, 2011

Videobit: Ken Russell

Ken Russell, the film director, who has died at the age of 84 had more than a few links with the music world.

Perhaps most famously, he filmed a pop video for his lawyer as payment for a court case won, but it went much deeper than that. His day job saw him turn Tommy into a film, the only movie ever to use Quintaphonic sound. He also had a chance to create an even bigger part of British pop cinema, when he was offered the chance of directing Summer Holiday.

Although that was not to be, he would work with Cliff later. He did the video for She's So Beautiful, which escaped from the soundtrack of Time: The Musical, and looked like this:

It's probably safe to say that wasn't his greatest work.

There had been talk of him producing a Hamlet with David Bowie and Elton John. In fact, there was a lot of talk of Russell and John doing something more substantial than John's appearance in Tommy, but all that came of it was a video for Nikita:

There's nothing that unlikely about a girl called Nikita, is there? Russell appears to have made a Cold War Boy Named Sue.

Perhaps the most frustrating lost music project, though, is the proposed video as part of a Sgt Pepper collection. Different directors would have a go at each song; Russell was supposed to do When I'm 64.

Still, there's always The Boyfriend to enjoy:


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