Director Ken Russell Dies At 84

A blog entry is much too short to express what I think about director Ken Russell, who has died at 84. His trashy biopics of classical composers were exciting to me as a child, and I felt the frisson of a major something the first time I saw his 1969 adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s novel “Women in Love” (scripted, let’s not forget, by Larry Kramer). Russell, who, as the Kael Woman once said, was “notorious for overheating most of his pictures,” also directed the 1975 adaptation of The Who‘s “Tommy.” He was also responsible for one of the last big-screen performances of my favorite living actress, Glenda Jackson, in another Lawrence adaptation, “The Rainbow,” in 1989. I hope Russell is having a high time in the afterlife with all of those orgiastic nunnies from “The Devils.”

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