Flash-forward to Russell’s Vestron Pictures deal in the late ‘80s and a revival of the project— still at a bargain rate and with a female Salome (Imogen Millais-Scott), in addition to a biographical framing story that parallels Wilde’s betrayal by Lord Alfred Douglas (Douglas Hodge) with Salome’s betrayal of John the Baptist (also Hodge) in the play. Largely confined to one set (but what a set!), the film amazingly never feels stage-bound, and for my money is the best of Russell’s late 1980s work. It’s outlandish, oversized, campy, profane and, finally, strangely moving—in a way that only a Ken Russell film can be.
The Asheville Film Society will screen Salome’s Last Dance Tuesday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Ken Hanke.