Pete’s Peek | Tommy and Mahler – Ken Russell’s wild excursions into the minds of musical genius

Love him or loathe him, British director Ken Russell, who died last November at the age of 84, was a true maverick. His canon of films – the most well-known being 1969’s Women in Love, 1971’s The Devils and The Who’s Tommy in 1975 – polarised audiences and critics alike with their flamboyant and outrageous sexual imagery and not-so subtle attacks on church and state, but they remain testament to one’s man’s unique artistic vision – the likes of which we will never see again.

With cinema fans eagerly awaiting the BFI’s UK release of Russell’s most controversial film The Devils on DVD on 19 March (which I will be reviewing in depth), here’s two more of the auteur’s cinematic outings to consider adding to your next at-home Ken Russell retrospective.

Passionate about classical music Ken Russell wrote books on famous composers and directed a string of highly individual biopics on the likes of Elgar, Liszt, Delius, Tchaikovsky and Mahler. In his dazzling 1974 film about the life of Gustav Mahler
Mahler with the Oscar-nominated rock opera Tommy
Mahler and Tommy are available on DVD through Odeon Entertainment

The Devils is released on DVD on 19 March through BFI

Fancy taking Tommy home on DVD? We have one copy for you to win. Just ‘like and share’ this post and leave a comment (click here if you can’t see the comments box) telling us who your favourite musical hero is and why. Competition closes 5pm Friday 2 March.

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