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Ken Russell
Ken Russell

"Born in 1927, Russell was, in his youth, a sailor, a ballet dancer, a photographer, and he served in the RAF. In the 1960s, he shocked BBC viewers with a series of feature-length documentaries for television about 20th-century composers. One of his first cinematic films, Women in Love (1969), an adaptation of the D. H. Lawrence novel, extolled the virtues of an amorous instinct that violated social norms. Its ecstatic images of both female and male nudity have been associated with the hippy culture of the era. Starring Oliver Reed, Alan Bates, and Glenda Jackson, Russell was nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for the film, which is recognized as his best work. ‘What is your next film going to be about?’ asked the producer. ‘When he found out that it was going to be about Tchaikovsky, he looked stunned,’ says Russell. ‘I had to explain to him that it was going to be the story of a homosexual who fell in love with a nymphomaniac. They gave me the money immediately.’" (Tadeusz Sobolewski, "Gazeta Wyborcza")

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