William Hurt in Altered States
  • William Hurt in Altered States

On Tuesday at 7 PM the Harris Theater will host a special screening of Ken Russell’s 1980 cult favorite Altered States with a 100-piece orchestra performing a live accompaniment alongside the film. The composer of the score, John Corigliano, will be in attendance and take part in a Q&A after the movie. It’s one of four Chicago events Corigliano plans to attend next week as part of a citywide celebration of his 75th birthday. Also on deck are performances of the composer’s music by the Chicago Chamber Musicians (at Roosevelt University on Wednesday) and the Pianoforte Foundation (at the Fine Arts Building on Thursday). Last week I spoke with Corigliano about working on Altered States, how the score relates to his concert music, and how he got along with Ken Russell. Decades after the height of his notoriety, Russell (The Devils, Tommy) remains a love-him-or-hate-him figure for his over-the-top stylistics and brazen mixtures of high and low art. If any director’s films call for the presence of a 100-piece orchestra, it’s his.