The American Cinematheque Presents
Brave New World: An In Person Tribute to Ken Russell
Aero & Egyptian Theatres
Co-presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts /Los Angeles
Director Ken Russell has long been one of England’s most iconoclastic, provocative and visually (and aurally) stunning directors. He first made a name for himself at the BBC, where he inaugurated a series of unconventional biopics of composers – a form he would continue to explore on the big screen. His breakthrough came in 1969 with the feature film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s WOMEN IN LOVE, a taboo-shattering classic that garnered Russell an Oscar nomination. From that point on he embarked on one audacious masterpiece after another, including a rock opera with The Who (TOMMY), a science fiction head trip (ALTERED STATES) and more unorthodox treatments of composers’ lives (LISZTOMANIA, MAHLER).
Join us at the Cinematheque for these films, as well as the beloved yet controversial horror film
THE DEVILS in a brand-new digital presentation, on the big screen as they were meant to be experienced!
We are thrilled to welcome BAFTA and Academy Award-nominated Ken Russell to the Aero and Egyptian Theatres! Be ready for an unforgettable weekend!
Ken Russell at the Aero Theatre
Friday, August 20 – 7:30 PM
BRAND-NEW digital presentation of THE DEVILS!
THE DEVILS, 1971, Warner Bros., 108 min. Director Ken Russell’s adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun remains one of the most disturbingly memorable films from the early 1970s. In 17th century France, Cardinal Richelieu’s minions use the womanizing of activist priest Urban Grandier (Oliver Reed) as an excuse to investigate his “diabolic possession” of the local nuns, including the demented, hunchbacked Mother Superior Sister Jeanne (an unforgettable Vanessa Redgrave).
ALTERED STATES, 1980, Warner Bros., 102 min. Director Ken Russell’s hallucinatory version of the Jekyll & Hyde story stars William Hurt as a Harvard professor who explores sensory deprivation in an effort to travel back in time. “A kind of inner-space odyssey that’s terrifying in its view of primal human nature… a mesmerizing visual experience.” – Ron Pennington, Hollywood Reporter.Discussion between films with director Ken Russell.
Ken Russell In Person!
Saturday, August 21 – 7:30 PM
Double Feature: Brand New Digital Cinema Presentation with
TOMMY, 1975, Sony Repertory, 111 min. Having already brought an outlandish, hellzapoppin’ quality to such films as THE DEVILS, director Ken Russell was the perfect choice to helm The Who’s landmark rock opera TOMMY, transforming it into a stream-of-consciousness catalog of wild performances from the likes of Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Tina Turner, Elton John, Keith Moon, Jack Nicholson and others.
LISZTOMANIA, 1975, Warner Bros., 103 min. Director Ken Russell is at his outrageous, surreal best in this biopic of Franz Liszt (played by The Who’s Roger Daltrey), an aural, visual and sexual feast for all the senses. Thrill to the progressive-rock score by Rick Wakeman (of Yes), which somehow incorporates rock, Liszt and Wagner in all their majesty. Pop-culture references abound as Russell equates Liszt with the music superstars of the day – and don’t miss the giant penises! Discussion between films with director Ken Russell.
Ken Russell In Person!
Sunday, August 22- 7:30 PM
WOMEN IN LOVE, 1969, MGM Repertory, 131 min.Director Ken Russell exploded on the international scene with this surprise crossover hit! In the 1920s British Midlands, Alan Bates is Rupert, a free-spirited intellectual writer who becomes enamored of feisty schoolteacher Ursula (Jennie Linden). Bates’ best friend, rich coal-mining heir Gerald (Oliver Reed) is in love with Ursula’s sculptress sister, Gudrun (Glenda Jackson, Best Actress Oscar winner). But only one of these couples is able to keep from spiraling into self-destruction.
THE MUSIC LOVERS, 1970, MGM Repertory, 123 min. Dir. Ken Russell. Ken Russell applies his typically outrageous and original sensibility to the story of Tchaikovsky (Richard Chamberlain) and the woman (Glenda Jackson) he marries and abandons. Eschewing the usual biopic conventions, Russell follows the life of the great composer through expressionistic flashbacks, nightmares and fantasy sequences. This is a film you can’t stop watching. From the love scene on the train (the actors thrashing about until they were ill from the tumult) to the awkward marriage of a man trying to suppress homosexual urges, Russell’s depiction of the composers life is far from a standard biography of an early 19th century composer! MAHLER will not be shown as previously announced due to print unavailability. Discussion between films with director Ken Russell.