Cinema: Erratic Bust

SAVAGE MESSIAH Directed by KEN RUSSELL Screenplay by CHRISTOPHER LOGUE

Ken Russell is a director whose appetite for excess verges on petulance. His enterprise in films like The Music Lovers and The Devils was not to reconstruct history but to disembowel it; one felt that if he were to try a biblical spectacular, all the extras would be wearing Mickey Mouse wristwatches. His directorial tone has the subtlety of a timp roll played on an eyeball. A new Russell film, particularly one about an artist (the dramatization of artists' lives being his forte,...

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