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December 05, 2011


nick s

Same week as Ken Russel, for whom he wrote the screenplay for Savage Messiah, the Gaudier-Brzeska biopic. (G-B having been featured in this year's Vorticism exhibition at Tate Britain.)

The note in the obit about the Civil List pension was the one surprise to me, since it's limited to a couple of dozen eminent types. It's mainly of symbolic value: only £800 a year, and it's suffered against inflation for nearly 200 years.


I spoke to Christopher Logue twice while I was working on Red Pepper. We had a small regular feature where somebody would recommend a book, film or whatever which had meant a lot to them; they were only a couple of hundred words long, and I did them by phone interview. I didn't have any particular contacts among eminent lefties myself, but somebody in the elite wing of the Red Pepper operation got me a list of names and numbers. One such was Logue, who ummed and aahed a bit and then said that he'd be willing to say a few words about the Ali/Foreman film When we were kings. I said I hadn't seen it. Oh, well, then there's no use talking about it. Go away and see it, and then call me back. You should see it anyway, it's a wonderful film. The voice was impatient but forceful and enthusiastic; I was instantly persuaded.

I got hold of a video and watched the film; I don't remember much about it now, although I'm sure I was suitably impressed at the time. I rang Logue back. Oh, I don't think that's really going to be possible... I'm not sure it's a good idea. Sorry. Even then I felt as if I'd come out ahead - I would never have watched the film otherwise, after all.


Man, "When We Were Kings" is a wonderful film. I saw it on TV a few years ago, then torrented it last year, and it was just as good as I remembered.

Barry Freed

I see he also played Cardinal Richelieu in Russell's "The Devils."

Yes, "When We Were Kings" is great. I saw it when it came out. I should definitely give it another watch soon.

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