A weekend at Derby’s ID Fest on behalf of Little White Lies produced, among other things, a close encounter with Brian Blessed. The great man’s firm belief in Flash Gordon as an enduring example of the mind at play is tough to dispute while he’s in full flow, and not all that easy to pick apart after he’s gone. Consideration of the issues raised involved reacquaintance with 1980-model Ornella Muti, which is the equivalent of reopening old wounds.
Another larger than life presence was Ken Russell, thanks to the festival showing three of his movies and screening The Debussy Film as well. Paul Sutton, biographer and advocate, took the opportunity to put the boot in to the establishment figures whom he felt had damaged Russell over the years, which was pretty much all of them: “The British film industry and Hollywood are run by categorical idiots and imbeciles. By the end of Russell’s first professional year, 1959, he had made seven amazing 35mm shorts; none of which are available to the public since the BBC are assholes.” And much else in similar vein. Sutton’s in-the-works five-volume Russell biography has apparently been funded by John McTiernan, which sounds like a trivia question for the ages.