Feature: ID Fest Day #2

Derby's biggest and best film festival returns and the Hatch'd team will be there all weekend to blog about it. Day 2 features a biographical look at the late Ken Russell, a screening of his 1975 star-studded alt-musical, 'Tommy' and a special hero-themed DJ set from 'The Long Player'.

We couldn't have made a better start to day 2 of ID Fest. Escaping the Derby heat via the solace of a cool cinema theatre, Holly and I thoroughly enjoyed a mid-morning screening of Robert Mulligan's, film adpatation of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.

The film has stood the test of time more than capably. Powerfully acted, deeply moving and genuinely charming, Mulligan's masterpiece deserves it's 'classic' label. Tackling themes of racial inequality and lost innocence in 1930s America, the film is no less a powerhouse now, then it would have been on its release, fifty years ago.

One satisfied cinema-goer we spoke to said it was "wonderful to have finally seen it on the big screen" having watched it numerous times on television as a child.

In the evening, Holly and I went to QUAD's cafe bar to enjoy 'The Long Player'; a special hero-themed version of Snug Recording Co's monthly DJ evening. Meanwhile, Lara attended an event celebrating the life and work of acclaimed British director, the late Ken Russell:

Ken Russell's biographer Paul Sutton was interviewed by Cult Film Historian Darrell Buxton giving an insight in to his career, his approach to film making, and his private life. Sutton began by telling the audience about his experience of living with Ken for three years in the New Forrest and his love for the English countryside.

Sutton went on to explain that Ken could never have moved to the US because he loved the British landscape so much. It was also noted that Ken chose to shoot 'Women in Love' at Elvaston Castle and was particularly fond of the Derbyshire area. A series of clips from some of Russell's lesser known short films were then shown, most - if not all - of which have never been released by the BBC.

The audience were told that Ken had spent much of the last ten years of his life making 'home movies' shot on a shoe string in his garage, but was still producing astonishing work, despite perhaps not receiving the recognition it deserved. Sutton drew comparisons in Russell's work with other film makers such as Stanley Kubrick and discussed his approach to the craft stating, paraphrasing Russell when stating, "Never move the camera unless you have to, never edit unless you have to."

Russell always preferred to work with actors who could dance. He believed that an actor should be able to convey the story through his body language and was quoted as saying that the "way a person holds themselves can tell more about a story than pages and pages of script".

The last question Buxton put to Sutton was if there was a particular example of Ken's work that he would encourage people to watch. Sutton's answer was simple; the work get's better and better as his career progressed and firmly believes that his work is some of the best in British film making history.

The event was followed by a screening of Russell's incredible, Tommy, a musical based on The Who's 1969 rock-opera album of the same name. Starring the band's frontman, Roger Daltrey as the lead, along with a plethora of other uber-famous musicians and actors, the film tells the tale of a boy rendered deaf, dumb and blind by a traumatic childhood incident, before eventually becoming the head of a radical spiritual movement.

To find out more about what else is happening at the festival over the weekend and for a programme of events visit the ID Fest website or the QUAD website.

Words by and .

Tags:  ID Fest Cinema Film Movies QUAD To Kill A Mockingbird Ken Russell Tommy The Long Player Snug Recording Co Derby Derbyshire Derbyartists

This website uses cookies to improve performance and enhance your user experience. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to the use of these cookies.
Click here for further information, alternatively close this message.