Savage Messiah (1972)

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Savage Messiah: Directed by Ken Russell. With Dorothy Tutin, Scott Antony, Helen Mirren, Lindsay Kemp. Biographical movie of the French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

“Ken Russell did it with Valentino, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Lizst. He made British movies of these non-British geniuses, biographical at the obvious level, with satire and pathos lurking beneath the obvious layer. u0026quot;Savage messiahu0026quot; is once again a biopic of an eccentric French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, though not as famous as Russellu0026#39;s three musical composers or the ballet dancer he made films about, yet a gifted French genius (an outsider in British society) who finds a Polish spouse 20 years his senior in real life (u0026quot;uglyu0026quot;, he calls her in the film), intelligent, creative and sensitive as the sculptor but disinterested in sex. Russell captures the rich world of artistu0026#39;s agents, the rich who frequent art galleries and museums, rich societyu0026#39;s rules that give importance of tucking in shirt-tails while appreciating art in museums, the rich copying art and passing the results off as genuine works…u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eRussellu0026#39;s film captures the brave suffragettes (in the character of Gosh Boyle, played by the stunning young Dame Helen Mirren, who even appears nude) who are not averse to sex and nudity and contrasts them with the lead character of Sophie Brzeska (a charismatic portrayal by Dame Dorothy Tutin), who never takes off her clothes and is openly averse to sex.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe director makes the viewer virtually taste the cabbage in the soup made by the poor artists as the rich agent savors the bad concoction. That is an example of Russel at his best.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe film is a love story–an unusual one. There is sexual energy that exudes in the cutting of cabbages by Dame Dorothy that seems to have been copied decades later in the vegetable chopping by Cate Blanchett in the recent film u0026quot;Banditsu0026quot;. The death of the artist is captured by still photographs of the World War and his spouse viewing his sculptures in a public gallery.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe film is a remarkable work of two great actors–Dame Dorothy Tutin and Dame Helen Mirren–honored by the British Queen much after the film was made.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eRussell and set designer Derek Jarman dishes out a movie that may not be outstanding but worthy of note to any one who appreciates the genius among artists and what they have to battle against in the quest to state the truth and tear down pretensions in society. It is a tragic tale of a genius nipped in the bud. Only his spouse, herself a loser among u0026quot;geniusesu0026quot;, seems to realize this.”


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