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R.I.P Ken Russell, you crazy bastard

Ken Russell, director of Women In Love (1979), Tommy (1975), The Devils (1971), Altered States (1980), The Lair of the White Worm  (1988) and Gothic (1986), died Sunday after a series of strokes.

What’s the old cliché? You either “love him or hate him”? I was never a great fan of Tommy (as a ‘serious’ Who fan, quote unquote) yet I have to admire the work of such an audacious director. Better to be outrageous than dull, particularly in film, and Russell never let the audience down when it came to audacity. There’s a warm familiarity and fondness his films breed in me, giving me a familiar chuckle and a half-smile. Russell’s films were typically violent, outrageous, bizarre and wonderful, in their own ways, and he will be missed.

Rest in peace, you crazy, crazy man.

The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

Women In Love (1969)

I still think you should have let David Bowie play the Acid Queen, though.

Britta R. Moline  11/29/11

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