CC: Tommy (1975)

2018/19 SEASON!

Thursday, December 06, 2018 - Thursday, December 06, 2018

Tommy (1975)

Thursday, December 06, 2018 @ 7:00 PM
Globe Cinema
- 617 8th Ave SW Calgary, AB
$12 General | $10 Members/Seniors/Students | $40 5-Pack Punch Pass | $99 Season Pass


After fashioning many provocative and scandalous film biographies of classical composers in the 1970s, director Ken Russell turned his gaze to contemporary music, adapting The Who’s rock opera Tommy. In doing so, Russel created his most enduring commercial success. Even longtime critics of Russell were forced to admit his signature hallucinatory style was now an indelible influence on the world of film.

Detailing the travails of the “deaf, dumb, and blind” pinball-playing kid Tommy (played by The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey) and his fame-hungry, loving mother (legendary actress-singer Ann-Margret), while featuring a dazzling international cast of rock icons (Pete Townsend, Elton John, Tina Turner as the Acid Queen, and a singing Jack Nicholson!), the rollicking Tommy broke the box office and helped encourage a thousand imitators, not the least of which was MTV itself.

- 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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