Chicago Review Press
Director Ken Russell is no stranger to taboos of any kind, and Joseph Lanza’s bio of the maverick moviemaker explains why, starting with the boy’s most unusual reaction to seeing Walt Disney’s “Pinocchio.”
“Tommy,” “Altered States” and “Crimes of Passion” are among his best-known works, but his filmography is full of controversy “courters” and outright junk amid the artistic gems. Lanza moves film by film to explore not only their themes and subtext, but how they reflected Russell’s mad, mad, mad, mad world at the time.
Even when Russell’s movies are awful, “Phallic Frenzy” makes the hows and whys behind that entertaining and engaging.