CC: Altered States (1980)

2018/19 SEASON!

Thursday, November 08, 2018 - Thursday, November 08, 2018

Altered States (1980)

Thursday, November 08, 2018 @ 7:00 PM
Plaza Theatre
- 1133 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB
$12 General | $10 Members/Seniors/Students | $40 5-Pack Punch Pass | $99 Season Pass

Directed by Ken Russell | USA | 102 mins.

British provocateur Ken Russell entered the 1980s with his first true “head trip” movie, Altered States. Featuring William Hurt as Professor Jessup, whose investigations into the nature of primitive consciousness and reality may lead to his doom, Altered Statesmarked the one and only time Ken Russell made a true “studio film”.

Featuring a dense, literate screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky (Network), 2001-esque trancey Stargate sequences, and a powerful percussive score by Oscar nominated John Corigliano, Altered States sent Russell back to the multiplex with all of his in-your-face, in flagrante delicto tendencies intact.

- Written by Scott Lang


A true iconoclast among British filmmakers, Ken Russell began his career in television, making films for the BBC that combined elements of the documentary and the biopic to radical effect. Many of Russell’s television films focus on composers, a trend he would continue throughout his career, resulting in baroque theatrical features about the likes of Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Liszt. Whether making biopics like Mahler, adaptations of canonized literary classics such as Women in Love, or wild phantasmagorias such as Altered States, Russell’s approach was always flamboyant and brash, the resultant films luxuriating in the tawdry or sensational. Often controversial, Russell always maintained the courage of his convictions and a defiant consistency of vision. Never beholden to decorum or conventional standards of good taste, Russell’s films continue to maintain their ability to shock, awe, and delight. His is a decadent cinema suggesting that civilization may not be so civilized after all.

About Calgary Cinematheque

We are a non-profit film society dedicated to presenting significant, challenging, and essential works of cinema art in Calgary. During our season, which runs from October to April, we screen films weekly, in curated programs which situate each film in a thematic and historical context. We do this because we believe cinema is an essential form of artistic, social, and political expression. Audiences should be able to engage with a wide range of cinematic expression, not only with what is commercially viable. We believe in the power of sharing these experiences with other people in a theatrical setting and we strive to cultivate a community around that experience.  

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