THE MUSIC LOVERS
1970, MGM Repertory, 123 min, UK, Dir: Ken Russell

Ken Russell applies his typically outrageous and original sensibility to the story of Tchaikovsky (Richard Chamberlain) and the woman (Glenda Jackson) he marries and abandons. Eschewing the usual biopic conventions, Russell follows the life of the great composer through expressionistic flashbacks, nightmares and fantasy sequences.


CLEOPATRA (1963)
1963, 20th Century Fox, 248 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Mankiewicz

Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) attempts to secure her power as Queen of Egypt by charming Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and Mark Antony (Richard Burton) with whom she has a stormy love affair, but Egypt is finally integrated into the Roman Empire. Directed and co-written by Joseph Mankiewicz, this epic historical drama boasts spectacular sets and costumes that must be seen. Cleopatra's spectacular entry into Rome with her golden Sphinx pulled by thousands is a real cinematic moment!


MOMMIE DEAREST
1981, Paramount, 129 min, USA, Dir: Frank Perry

“Don’t fuck with me, fellas. This ain’t my first time at the rodeo!” Faye Dunaway scorches as Joan Crawford in this blistering exposé of the icon’s troubled and abusive relationship with her adopted daughter, Christina Crawford (who penned the memoir on which the film is based). As told from the perspective of grown-up Christina (Diana Scarwid) remembering her traumatic upbringing, “Mommie” Joan crumples under the pressures of alcohol, men and show business, and turns into an emotionally manipulative domestic monster. Though a critical disaster on its initial release, earning an abundance of Razzie Award wins and nominations, the film has since become a cult touchstone, thanks to a ferocious performance by Dunaway and no-holds-barred direction by Frank Perry (THE SWIMMER, PLAY IT AS IT LAYS). With Mara Hobel as young Christina, Steve Forrest as Joan’s Hollywood lawyer boyfriend, hopelessly loyal to MGM, and Howard Da Silva as the screaming studio titan himself, Louis B. Mayer.


Syndicate content