Okay, so I heard recently in the news that the funeral of Ken Russel- English cinematography pioneer- had happened this month. A rather sad affair, considering his prolific cinematic output from the 60’s onwards. He directed some of the greatest films of all time and forever challenged the orthodoxy, in whatever form it would take. Heck, the guy even appeared on celebrity Big Brother during the infamous “Jade Goody” epoch.
However, it turns out that he was a rather- ahem- ”wayward” custodian of the memory of great composers. Case in point, this thing- http://www.iainfisher.com/russell/russeb.html
WHAT. THE. FLYING. FUCK.
Yep, it’s a genuine historical biography, and the first of many to boot. He also wrote Elgar- the Erotic Variations and Delius- a Moment with Venus. I mean, he’s a commendable figure but what demand was he responding to? Do the kind of people who read biographies of Brahms need their narratives spiced with sex? Well, sensationalism aside, the books are actually critically acclaimed. Even the Spectator, the most hoitly-toitly review magazine in existance - praised it as a “genealogy of inspiration”. I honestly don’t know what to make of it.