Saturday, 2 April 2011

Amanda Donohoe & Sammi Davis in "The Rainbow" [1989 UK]

Ken Russell was one of the more quirky directors in British Cinema - while his recent works have been ordinary, there was a time when he was making rather interesting films. I'm therefore moving backwards with his filmography, starting with his 1989 drama "The Rainbow", which I consider to be his last significant film.

Based on a DH Lawrence novel, "The Rainbow" follows the trials and tribulations of a young lady in early twentieth century England. Even as a precocious child, Ursula had always wanted what isn't possible, like asking her dad for the rainbow one day - and the rainbow remains the constant metaphor through the film. As an adolescent, she catches the attention of her gym teacher Winifred, who becomes Ursula's first love. She does fall in love with a soldier however, and they even get engaged, but soon decides against marriage. Deep down, she hates the idea of leading a conventional life like her mother - instead, she finds contentment by chasing her own rainbow.

Ken Russell's made a fine film from a fine novel. The cinematography is excellent, beautifully capturing the picture-postcard English countryside, and the art direction is superb. You also have Russell's trademark edits and surreal moments - one of which is included in my compilation. The other surreal scene is of Ursula being chased by horses through the countryside. For an introduction to Ken Russell, this is definitely Recommended Viewing.

The compilations below was cut from my decent quality DVD, and I'm thankful they authored it in full frame.

Compilation 1 - Amanda Donohoe and Sammi Davis
  1. Ursula is invited by Winifred to her cottage for a swim. And we see she's utterly receptive to Winifred's overtures. Nice piece of lesbianism from a male perspective.
  2. Winifred tries to comfort a confused Ursula - her uncle had been making advances on Winifred, and quite successfully too.
  3. A surreal scene where Ursula follows Winifred, both naked, through a meadow. She follows her fiancé at first, but changes her mind. Ursula is played by Sammi Davis, and Winifred, by the magnetic Amanda Donohoe.
Amanda Donohoe and Sammi Davis in The Rainbow

Compilation 2: Sammi Davis
  1. Ursula poses for an artist, who just turns out to be a dirty old man.
  2. With Anton, her boyfriend, who proposes to her
  3. Ursula is woken up by Winifred and her uncle who had planned a day out.
Sammi Davis in The Rainbow


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