Acid Queens: Peaches & Tommy


Sat, Apr 21

   11:00 / Kabuki

The Late Show

England, 1975, 111 min


Ken Russell
Ken Russell, Robert Stigwood
Ken Russell
Dick Bush, Ronnie Taylor
Stuart Baird
The Who
Oliver Reed, Ann-Margret, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Tina Turner
Sony Pictures Repertory, 550 Madison Ave, 8th Floor, New York NY 10022. TEL: 310-244-7913. FAX: 310-244-1525. EMAIL:

Acid Queens: Peaches & Tommy

As her very name suggests, San Francisco midnight movie maven Peaches Christ has a passionate understanding of cinematic religiosity and cult rites. The devoted audiences at Peaches’ Midnight Mass events have come to expect everything from drag queen roller derby and live wrestling to intimate interviews within the show’s wild but well-conceived format, which brings the best B-movies back to the big screen. The same rare brand of ecstatic cinematic fervor found at Midnight Mass runs rampant through the outrageous career of Ken Russell (1927–2011), whose directorial vision allows ample room for holy mania and the excesses of classical music and romantic poetry, in addition to sex, drugs and rock and roll. All three of the latter are present and more than accounted for in the 1975 rock opera Tommy, which unites Ann-Margret, Roger Daltrey and Tina Turner (as the Acid Queen) at the peak of their star power in a frenzied tale of pinball wizardry and modern idolatry gone mad. For all their abundant sensation and irreverent spectacle, Russell’s films address human hopes and follies with subversive wit and wisdom, and even a hint of compassion. Tommy is no exception. It’s time for a trip to the Church of Ken Russell, where Peaches will be your preacher.

—Johnny Ray Huston

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Ken Russell

Ken Russell (1927-2011) was a photographer and dancer before he found his calling as a director. His 1969 adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love received four Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actress win for Glenda Jackson. With signature style, Russell explored the power of music in The Music Lovers (1970), Mahler (1974), Tommy and Lisztomania (1975) and dramatized literature in Gothic (1986), Salome's Last Dance (1988), The Lair of the White Worm (1988) and The Rainbow. Other notable films in his filmography include The Devils (1971), Altered States (1980) and Crimes of Passion (1984).