Lisztomania: Ken Russell’s attempt to out Tommy Tommy

Lisztomania, from writer-director Ken Russell, was released in late 1975. It’s not a widely admired film (to say the least!), but I say it deserves a reappraisal. Trailing Russell’s enormously successful cinematic rock opera Tommy (with a tagline proclaiming it “out Tommy’s Tommy ”), Lisztomania is by no means the “best” Ken Russell movie; in fact, according to many of the great man’s fans it falls squarely in the opposite category. It is, however, possibly the most Russell-esque of all its creator’s features, being everything one expects from Ken Russell: wild, outrageous and joyously phantasmagoric. As Russell once stated, “in my view, it is far better to OD than to be crippled by restraint,” and restraint has no place in Lisztomania… read more >

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