Ken Russell David Wilson - Essay

David Wilson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Intermittently inventive, always lively, [Tommy] remains a series of separate units linked only by a disparate if vigorous style. Which is a fair capsule description of Russell's film-making style.

Not surprising, then, that Tommy represents both the best and the worst of Ken Russell, often within the same sequence…. Russell's visual representations of the score (already, in 'Quintaphonic' sound, well into aural extravagance) are here merely aggravating annotations—in, out and zoom it all about like some nightmare conjunction of TV soap operatics and TV commericals. The rest, as nearly always in Russell's cinema, is bits and showpieces. And it would scarcely be worth noting did it...

(The entire section is 496 words.)