The Music Lovers (1970) - News Poster


Review: Don't Drink the Water—Gore Verbinski's "A Cure for Wellness"

  • MUBI
Jason Isaacs as Dr. Volmer in A Cure for WellnessIt starts with a whispered melody. It will send frissons of familiarity, of a kind of upsetting longing for clarity. You know that song the odd English girl is singing, but you can't place it. Neither can Lockhart (Dane DeHaan, who they might have called Lockjaw, as he can barely seem to spit his words out), which is what draws him into the guts of a mystery. And it draws the film into a slithering spiral, compels us to observe an autopsy of modern horror. What half-remembered giallo fugue is Gore Verbinski spooning up for us like medicine, pinioned to our chairs like one of the zombie patients in the film’s sinister clinic? A puzzle picture, a conspiracy thriller, a kind of baroque classical nightmare, A Cure For Wellness is too sturdy, busy and sure of itself to be much of a horror film.
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The Boy Friend

It’s hard to think of a musical that would benefit more from a Blu-ray boost than Ken Russell’s kaleidoscopic all dancing, all singing send-up of theatrical clichés on the music hall stage, circa 1925. We’re just happy that the adorable Twiggy got to be put in a film like this, to be enjoyed forever. The Russell crowd is all aboard, led by Glenda Jackson and Murray Melvin. Gosh!

The Boy Friend


The Warner Archive Collection

1971 / Color / 2:40 widescreen / 136 min. / Street Date February 21, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian, Bryan Pringle, Murray Melvin, Moyra Fraser, Georgina Hale, Sally Bryant, Vladek Sheybal, Tommy Tune, Brian Murphy, Graham Armitage, Antonia Ellis, Caryl Little, Glenda Jackson.

Cinematography: David Watkin

Film Editor: Michael Bradsell

Production Design: Tony Walton

Costumes: Shirley Russell

Written by: Ken Russell from the musical by Sandy Wilson

Produced and Directed by: Ken Russell

See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Have Yourself A Movie Little Christmas: 2016 Edition

I’m guessing that you, just like most of us, have always had seasonal favorites when it comes to movies that attempt to address and evoke the spirit of Christmas. Like most from my generation, when I was a kid I learned the pleasures of perennial anticipation of Christmastime as interpreted by TV through a series of holiday specials, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and even musical variety hours where the likes of Bing Crosby and Andy Williams and Dean Martin et al would sit around sets elaborately designed to represent the ideal Christmas-decorated living room, drinking “wassail” (I’m sure that’s what was in those cups) and crooning classics of the season alongside a dazzling array of guests. (We knew we were moving into a new world of holiday cheer when David Bowie joined Bing Crosby for
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Devils (1971) | 2015 Beyond Film Festival Review

  • ioncinema
Sympathy for The Devils: The Suppression of Ken Russell’s Delirious, Incomparable Masterpiece

Despite the pronounced pedigree of its origins, Ken Russell’s glorious 1971 film The Devils is still mysteriously unavailable in the United States. An infamously plagued reception continues to usurp deserved attention away from its subversive content, though a growing legion of champions within the critical arena which had once sacrilegiously abandoned it has resulted in its growing recuperation.

Based, very loosely on a 1952 novel by literary giant Aldous Huxley depicting the downfall of 17th century French priest Urbain Grandier, it relates an incidence of hysteria and mob mentality run amok in the totalitarian paradigm of the Catholic Church. Russell, his project backed by none other than Warner Bros. studio itself, crafted an off-putting extravaganza of a film (shall we say, making Huxley’s text more Grandier) depicting events decried as pure blasphemy.

Wit unabashedly blunt sexual
See full article at ioncinema »

Special Sir Christopher Lee Tribute Screening & 40th Anniversary Screening of The Four Musketeers (1975) in Los Angeles

  • CinemaRetro
By Todd Garbarini

Update: Producer Ilya Salkind now also slated to appear.

Richard Lester’s film The Four Musketeers is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. With an all-star cast that includes Oliver Reed, Faye Dunaway, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, and Sir Christopher Lee, the film will be shown on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 at 7:00 pm as a special tribute to Sir Christopher as well as part of the theatre's Anniversary Classics series. Actors Richard Chamberlain and Michael York are scheduled to appear at the screening and take part in a Q & A and discussion on the making of the film.

From the press release:

Last year the Anniversary Classics series presented a successful 40th anniversary screening of The Three Musketeers, director Richard Lester's stylish and entertaining retelling of Alexandre Dumas' classic novel. Join us this year to see Lester's stirring conclusion of the tale, The Four Musketeers
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Film Review: ‘Chagall-Malevich’

Film Review: ‘Chagall-Malevich’
Amid an awards season even more than typically cluttered with solemn, respectful if not always stringently factual biopics, there’s a certain guilty pleasure in seeing something as gaga as “Chagall-Malevich.” In many respects, octogenarian Aleksandr Mitta’s first feature in more than a decade could pass as one made in his heyday as a leading light of Soviet state cinema many decades ago. It also recalls “The Music Lovers”-era Ken Russell, deeming no dramatic or aesthetic stroke too broad for the job of depicting the fevered internal and external lives of artistic geniuses. This freely imagined screen “folklore ballad” dramatizes the rivalry between Russian painters Marc Chagall and Kazimir Malevich in a spirit of vodka-soaked, color-saturated, shtetls-on-fire abandon. Outside former Soviet territories, it will fare best as a niche home-format item, particularly among Jewish audiences and programmers.

An almost cartoonish tenor is set from the outset, as Chagall
See full article at Variety - Film News »

9 Most Sex Obsessed Film Directors

Some directors deal with thoughts and emotions to drive the story forward, some directors use drama or horror. There are a number of directors who like to use the sex act or sexual overtones to propel the film on. Albeit, some are more blatant in doing this than others.

I have picked nine directors whose work has strong sexual overtones. Directors that are infamous for certain sexy films or sexy scenes. Some directors that are just pervy in everything they do.

We all enjoy a bit of sex to liven things up and here we have sex as a political statement, sex as ribaldry and a part of natural life, sex as an instrument to kill, deprave and corrupt, sex as humour and sex as art.

If you have any favourite pervy directors, please list them below!

9. Ken Russell

The late Lord Ken Russell (as I would deem him in
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Disney Blu-ray Roundup: ‘Finding Nemo’ a must-own, while ‘Odd Life of Timothy Green’ a mild charmer

  • SoundOnSight
The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and just in case you were hoping Walt Disney Pictures wouldn’t add to the burden on your wallet, I hate to, but have to disappoint you. With three more shopping weeks left until Christmas Day, they’ve got two new Blu-ray/DVD combos for our perusal, The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Finding Nemo, both of which were among their big early-fall releases. Of course, the Pixar entry was getting a 3D re-release after its original 2003 release, but still, it’s a notable release because now you can finally claim ownership of every Pixar feature film.

I almost feel bad for not wholeheartedly loving The Odd Life of Timothy Green, an extraordinarily sincere and earnest family film about a childless couple who, one night, discover that their wishes and prayers to become adoptive parents has come true in the form
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Wanted fans angry over website prices

The Wanted is facing a backlash from fans for demanding £100 a year to join their new fan club. The music lovers branded Wanted World 'money-grabbing' and a 'rip-off' because of the prices yesterday. For the amount, they are being offered exclusive content such as webchats, behind-the-scenes video and first listens to new tracks. Amy Lawson, 17, from south London, tweeted: 'Wantedworld is a money-grabbing scheme and a total rip-off, and I think it's taking advantage of fans.' Others tweeted that their British rivals One Direction and Jls give their fan club members special features free. Megan Hogg, 17, wrote: 'The only people that'll get wantedworld will be fans young enough to beg their parents or fans old enough who
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Bernard Rose on The Music Lovers

The onscreen title reads Ken Russell’s Film on Tchaikovsky and The Music Lovers, to differentiate it from a Russian film released the previous year. One of Russell’s most gloriously lurid fantasias, with Richard Chamberlain and Glenda Jackson brilliant as the haunted composer and his mad nymphomaniacal wife. Despite its many memorable and even shocking sequences this musical fever dream was savaged by the critics, with Pauline herselfopining, ”You really feel you should drive a stake through the heart of the man who made it. I mean it is so vile. It is so horrible.”
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Film clubs' show of strength

Underground cinema proves itself a force to be reckoned with as London film clubs unite to celebrate the late British film-maker

This month film clubs across the capital will unite in tribute to one of our greatest and most controversial film-makers, Ken Russell, who died in November 2011. Over 10 days and 10 venues, Ken Russell Forever promises to be a fittingly excessive, raucous and idiosyncratic tribute, with cinemagoers able to gorge themselves on films from a career that spanned biopic, horror, musicals, documentaries, thrillers, grindhouse and more. If eyes could get indigestion, you'll be rolling yours in crushed up Rennies by the end of this rich mix.

Bringing together this ragtag group of film clubs, independent cinemas and film blogs is no small feat – and it surely marks a "moment" in the evolution of the pop-up cinema movement that has been quietly gathering steam for some time. Outfits as varied as Strange
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Tfh Gift Guide: Part 1 – Movies!

Better late than never with the shill…I mean the Wow Look At All These Great Things! (And, all joking aside, I do mean that sincerely.)

We’ve finally done it. We’ve reached the end of our biggest year ever here at Trailers From Hell, a year with a lot of growing pains and a lot of triumphs. So allow me to extend some seasonal greetings to you, readers, watchers, visitors and strangers who may have just now stumbled upon our humble little site. (If you’re of the latter group, really, what took you so long?) We can only hope to keep growing the site though (please tell your friends!), and our always-amazing, never-ceasing stable of gurus only increases the realm of greatness we hope to bring you.

In the spirit of the season — that spirit being crass consumerism, of course — we thought we might direct your attention
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Remembering Ken Russell

Dan Ireland offers his rememberance of “Uncle Ken.”

A benefit of having such an eclectic stable of gurus is that our well of experience and stories about working in the business — often with and for giants — is increasingly deep. A number of our gurus, then, have Ken Russell (who died this past weekend) stories. Bernard Rose shared such a story in 2008. And Dan Ireland remembers the man just below.

One of the great joys of my life was my wonderful association with the great, the brilliant, the bad boy of British Cinema himself, Uncle Ken Russell.

Being an early devotee of Women In Love, The Music Lovers, The Devils, The Boyfriend, Savage Messiah, Mahler, Tommy, Altered States, Crimes of Passion and just about anything he did, I once tried in vain to get him to attend a tribute that I, along with my partner Darryl Macdonald, organized at the Seattle
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Ken Russell obituary

Formidable film director with an impish sense of humour and a talent to entertain and provoke

Ken Russell, who has died aged 84, was so often called rude names – the wild man of British cinema, the apostle of excess, the oldest angry young man in the business – that he gave up denying it all quite early in his career. Indeed, he often seemed to court the very publicity that emphasised only the crudest assessment of his work. He gave the impression that he cared not a damn. Those who knew him better, however, knew that he did. Underneath all the showbiz bluster, he was an old softie. Or, perhaps as accurately, a talented boy who never quite grew up.

It has, of course, to be said that he was capable of almost any enormity in the careless rapture he brought to making his films. He could be dreadfully cruel to his undoubted talent,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Ken Russell, flamboyant wild man of British cinema, dies aged 84

Oscar-nominated maverick found inspiration for his work in music and literature

After a film career full of wild drama, gaudy conflagrations and operatic flourishes, the director Ken Russell died quietly in hospital on Sunday afternoon at the age of 84, after suffering a series of strokes. – effecting a quiet, discreet exit from the comfort of his hospital bed. "My father died peacefully," said his son Alex Verney-Elliott. "He died with a smile on his face."

Known for his flamboyant, often outrageous brand of film-making, Russell made movies that juggled high and low culture with glee and invariably courted controversy. His 1969 breakthrough, the Oscar-winning Women in Love, electrified audiences with its infamous nude wrestling scene, while 1971's The Devils – a torrid brew of sex, violence and Catholicism – found itself banned across Italy and was initially rejected by its backer, Warner Bros. His other notable films include Altered States, The Boy Friend and Tommy,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ken Russell: Sex, nuns and rock'n'roll

Naked wrestling, religious mania and The Who's Tommy: director Ken Russell transformed British cinema. His closest collaborators recall a fierce, funny and groundbreaking talent

Glenda Jackson

I worked with Ken on six films. Women in Love was the first time I'd worked with a director of that genius, and on a film of that size. What I remember most was the creative and productive atmosphere on set: he was open to ideas from everyone, from the clapperboard operator upwards. Like any great director, he knew what he didn't want – but was open to everything else.

As a director he never said anything very specific. He'd say, "It needs to be a bit more … urrrgh, or a bit less hmmm", and you knew exactly what he meant. I used to ask him why he never said "Cut", and he said, "Because it means you always do something different." They gave
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ken Russell Has Left the Planet

  • Planet Fury
Legendary British filmmaker Ken Russell, the notorious director famous for boundary-pushing films such as Women in Love, Altered States and The Devils, has died at 84 following a series of strokes.

For an artist who's been called an iconoclast, a maverick and a genius — one with a professed love for consciousness-altering drugs — Russell (born July 3, 1927) got his start in a fairly conventional manner. Following a stint in the service, Russell worked as a photojournalist to minor acclaim before going to work at the BBC as a director in 1959.

While at the BBC, Russell made a series of historical documentaries, still regarded as impressive for their impressionistic visual technique. This is the beginning of the flamboyant style that became synonymous with the name Ken Russell. Many of these television films focused on renowned composers, including Edward Elgar, Richard Strauss and Claude Debussy. Interestingly, this is subject matter Russell would return to often
See full article at Planet Fury »

Provocative, Controversial Director Ken Russell Dead at 84: The Devils, Women In Love, Tommy

Director Ken Russell, best known for his movies featuring sex-starved nuns, nude male wrestling, "offensive" religious symbolism, and kaleidoscopic musical numbers, died Sunday, Nov. 27, in the United Kingdom. Russell had suffered a series of strokes. He was 84. Now hardly as remembered or admired as, say, '70s Hollywood icons Steven Spielberg, Robert Altman, or Martin Scorsese, Russell not only was — more than — their equal in terms of vision and talent, but he was also infinitely more daring both thematically and esthetically. In fact, Russell was so innovatively controversial that he was referred to as the enfant terrible of British cinema while already in his 40s and 50s. But if middle age brings out complacency and apathy in most people, its effect on Russell (born July 3, 1927, in Southampton) seems to have been the opposite. Following years of work on British television, Russell's 1969 film adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Director Ken Russell, R.I.P. In the '70s, he was the high-trash king of purple passion

Director Ken Russell, R.I.P. In the '70s, he was the high-trash king of purple passion
The first review I ever wrote — God help me — was of a movie directed by Ken Russell, the high-trash visionary of over-the-top British psychodrama who died Sunday at 84. It was 1975, the fall of my senior year in high school, and my friends and I had gone to the opening night show of Tommy, the deluxe, star-packed big-screen version of the Who’s rock opera. (Elton John as the Pinball Wizard! Tina Turner as the Acid Queen! Ann-Margret writhing in beans and suds! Jack Nicholson leering!) I thought parts of the movie were amazing, but it had a certain jaw-dropping vulgar psychedelic shamelessness that,
See full article at - Inside Movies »

R.I.P. Ken Russell

  • Dark Horizons
Following a series of strokes, British film director Ken Russell died on Sunday at the age of 84. Russell was famed for being experimental and flamboyant with his films which had heavily sexual overtones and often rebelled against the otherwise rigid and subdued tone used by other famed British filmmakers. It earned him the nickname 'The Fellini of the North'.

Russell first came to notice with 1967's "Billion Dollar Brain", the third film in the Michael Caine-led Harry Palmer spy drama series based on Len Deighton's books. Two years later he directed his signature film - an adaptation of Dh Lawrence's "Women In Love".

'Women' scored numerous Oscar nominations and featured the now infamous nude wrestling scene between Oliver Reed and Alan Bates that broke the taboo of full frontal male nudity on camera in a mainstream film.

That lead to numerous films in the 1970's that have since become infamous.
See full article at Dark Horizons »
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