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THE FILMS OF KEN RUSSEL (X)
July 16, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm$5
Often called rude names – the wild man of British cinema, the apostle of excess, the oldest angry young man in the business – he gave up denying it all quite early in his career. He is best known for his Oscar-winning film Women in Love (1969), The Devils (1971), The Who’s Tommy (1975), and the science fiction film Altered States (1980). Russell also directed several films based on the lives of classical music composers, such as Elgar, Delius, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Liszt.
1. THE DEVILS: (1971) 103 minutes, starring Oliver Reed; a film so controversial that its backers, the American company Warner Bros., refused to release it uncut. Inspired by Aldous Huxley’s book The Devils of Loudun and using material from John Whiting’s play The Devils, it starred Oliver Reed as a priest who stands in the way of a corrupt church and state. Helped by publicity over the more sensational scenes, featuring sexuality among nuns, the film topped British box office receipts for eight weeks. In the United States, the film, which had already been cut for distribution in Britain, was further edited. It has never played in anything like its original state in America. British film critic Alexander Walker described the film as “monstrously indecent” in a television confrontation with Russell, leading the director to hit him with a rolled up copy of the Evening Standard, the newspaper for which Walker worked. The uncut version of the film remains censored.
2. GOTHIC: (1986) 127 minutes; Gothic is a 1986 British horror film directed by Ken Russell, starring Gabriel Byrne as Lord Byron. It features a soundtrack by Thomas Dolby.
The film is a fictionalized retelling of the Shelleys’ visit to Lord Byron in Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva, shot inGaddesden Place. It concerns their competition to write a horror story, which ultimately led to Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein and John Polidori writing The Vampyre. The same event has also been portrayed in the films Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Haunted Summer (1988), among others. The film’s poster motif is based on Henry Fuseli’s painting The Nightmare, which is also referenced in the film.
THESE FILMS ARE RATED “X”
ADMISSION $5.00 and FREE for A1 Members with Membership Cards
Popcorn, peanuts, water and ice will be available. Bring your own drinks.