REVIEW: Ken Russell classic screening heats up Cinecenta

Kathy Kay offers her take on the British director

Kathy Kay

Monday Magazine columnist

Old gems. Especially old indie gems can be quite the treat. If you throw in the name Ken Russell it goes beyond a treat and takes on the aura of an authentic and original voice in British cinema.

Cinecenta is screening Russell’s Women in Love. In this classic film based on D.H. Lawrence’s book, two free-spirited sisters (the wonderful Glenda Jackson in an Oscar-winning performance, joined by Jennie Linden), are pursued by very different types of men.

The film, most famous for the nude wrestling scene with Oliver Reed and Alan Bates, is a fair adaptation of the famous novel and worth a trip to the theatre.

Here is hoping other Russell classics make a return: Tommy, The Devils (read Richard Crouse’s Raising Hell and Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils for an eye-opener), my fav Altered States, and Lisztomania featuring Roger Daltrey and Ringo Starr.

Russell had a prolific career from making shorts to TV movies to an Elton John music video (“Nikita” – in case you were wondering). Edgy and often outrageous, Russell has built a controversial filmography.

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