'Savage Messiah' is a tricky one for me. At one point, I thought it was the worst film I'd ever seen, yet I'd watch it every time it was on, as I gained a perverse enjoyment from being annoyed by it.
The story of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brezeska, it was a film that Russell desperately wanted to make, sinking a huge amount of his own money into the production. Ken's enthusiasm for the subject explodes onto the screen in a frenzy of shouting and sledgehammer cinema: it's as subtle as a flying house brick, and as sophisticated - it makes a great artist look like a petulant twat and does very little to translate Gaudier-Brezeska's genius to the screen. Instead, he just keeps saying he's a genius, and those around him keep saying he's a genius and you're supposed to believe it, all the time thinking, well, he's just a petulant twat, isn't he? - an over excited show off adolescent layabout with a Mother complex. This isn't helped by the casting of Scott Antony in the lead role. He's awful, one of the worst actors to ever take star billing in a film (his career was short lived - there's nothing in the IMDB for him after 1974), and he just makes you want to punch him repeatedly in the face until you run out of knuckles.
|Do sculptors really sculpt with their tongues out, like kids?|
|'ere, that looks like that Dame Helen Mirren.|
|Watch your hand on that radiator, Helen.|
|Overawed by genius.|
|The Art of War.|