The Devils

..and why not?
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The Devils

Postby Goat Boy » 23 Oct 2017, 10:16

I’ve never really been bothered by Ken Russell before. I’ve seen bits of Tommy and I remember watching the Lair of the White Worm years and years ago but that’s about it. Oh, and Altered States which I thought was fun. All that enfant terrible reputation put me off. My impression was that he was a bit silly and maybe he was, however....

The Devils though. Wow. It’s a serious film. It’s themes are major: sexual repression, separation of church and state, corruption of power. Maybe Russell just found the perfect story to marry to his style but I think this works incredibly well.

From a purely technical level it’s a marvel. Derek Jarmans sets are spectacular, the music by Peter Maxwell Davies is extraordinary too brilliantly capturing the escalating madness. The cinematography is great too and there are some incredible visual scenes that possess a real hallucinatory power.

You still can’t get the full uncut version. I think the scene that’s missing is Vanessa Redgrave masturbating with Olly Reeds bone :lol: The “rape of Christ” scene is now back in and it’s as suitably delirious and overwhelming as it should be.

Reading about the original trial etc the funny thing is this seems closer to the actual events than you'd ever expect.

It's a major British film, no?
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Re: The Devils

Postby driftin » 23 Oct 2017, 15:16

Seen it several times, one of those was watching the full uncut version with Ken Russell himself at the cinema at a film festival just a few months before he died.

It's a brilliant film. Everything about it is over the top and acerbic and I also think it's Oliver Reed's and Vanessa Redgrave's finest performances.

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Re: The Devils

Postby driftin » 23 Oct 2017, 15:18

Also shame on Warner Brothers for holding back a proper commercial release of the uncut version. Here's hoping for a great Criterion release of it in the future.

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Re: The Devils

Postby Goat Boy » 23 Oct 2017, 16:33

You'd think that in 2017 the world would be ready for a nun masturbating with a human bone, huh?
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Re: The Devils

Postby Goat Boy » 24 Oct 2017, 16:05

Nobody else?



Twats
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Re: The Devils

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 24 Oct 2017, 16:32

I saw it a long time ago. Too long ago to have anything useful to add here.

But I’ve been thinking about revisiting Russell’s work. Maybe I’ll use this as an impetus to jump in.
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Re: The Devils

Postby Rayge » 24 Oct 2017, 16:33

Goat Boy wrote:Nobody else?



Twats


Well some of us don't open Screenadelica very often...
I saw this in the cinema in the early 1970s, and sitting down the front and letting all that crazed energy wash over me was a bit of a trip (hadn't taken acid). Because it was 40-odd years ago, and I haven't seen it since, I've nothing beyond vague approbation to add.
Generally I think Russell was a great auteur. What got me into him were all those films for TV arts programmes that posed as dramatized biographies of composers but were actually crazed, sexualized and above all Romantic dreams inspired by their music. I can recommend the ones on Fred Delius and I think Debussy. The cinematic ones on Tchaikovsky and Roger Liszt went a bigt too far over the top for me, while I was a bit embarrassed by Tommy. My favourite British director of the time, without doubt, and the Devils is probably his most essential film.
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Re: The Devils

Postby !!VAPRANT!! » 24 Oct 2017, 16:49

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:I saw it a long time ago. Too long ago to have anything useful to add here.

But I’ve been thinking about revisiting Russell’s work. Maybe I’ll use this as an impetus to jump in.


You're OK with blasphemy?
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Re: The Devils

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 24 Oct 2017, 18:04

R. Swipe wrote:
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:I saw it a long time ago. Too long ago to have anything useful to add here.

But I’ve been thinking about revisiting Russell’s work. Maybe I’ll use this as an impetus to jump in.


You're OK with blasphemy?


Most of the time. Sure.
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Re: The Devils

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 24 Oct 2017, 18:06

Actually...in retrospect. I’m not sure I even believe in blasphemy.
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Re: The Devils

Postby Jeemo » 24 Oct 2017, 18:31

according to a book on Russell that i read, The Devils was used as teaching aid in some Jesuit colleges.
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Re: The Devils

Postby Goat Boy » 25 Oct 2017, 09:16

R. Swipe wrote:
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:I saw it a long time ago. Too long ago to have anything useful to add here.

But I’ve been thinking about revisiting Russell’s work. Maybe I’ll use this as an impetus to jump in.


You're OK with blasphemy?


It's not a blasphemous film though. There are scenes of blasphemy but that's not the same thing of course.
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Re: The Devils

Postby The Modernist » 25 Oct 2017, 09:53

I can't remember if I've seen it. The idea of Russell sounds attractive, but I don't think I've enjoyed a single one of his films. I once nominated him for worst director ever, which is a bit harsh but not entirely unmerited.

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Re: The Devils

Postby Goat Boy » 25 Oct 2017, 10:01

Oh come on G!

Get your freak flag on and take a trip with me daddy-o
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Re: The Devils

Postby The Modernist » 25 Oct 2017, 11:07

Goat Boy wrote:Oh come on G!

Get your freak flag on and take a trip with me daddy-o

:D
As i say I like the idea of him. This mad guy making these heightened, excessive films full of bizarre imagery, but the reality is just too silly. I guess Roeg is my go to guy for that kind of cinema.

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Re: The Devils

Postby Goat Boy » 25 Oct 2017, 11:16

I think The Devils really works though because he is portraying people in the grip of a collective madness, that’s the thing. It’s style and story fused together into a proper whole.

Plus it is a very serious film that has something to say. You can feel the anger, the outrage, it’s visceral, powerful.

From a purely technical point of view I think you’d get a kick out of it
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Re: The Devils

Postby kewl klive » 25 Oct 2017, 11:29

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Re: The Devils

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 25 Oct 2017, 14:26

The Modernist wrote:
Goat Boy wrote:Oh come on G!

Get your freak flag on and take a trip with me daddy-o

:D
As i say I like the idea of him. This mad guy making these heightened, excessive films full of bizarre imagery, but the reality is just too silly. I guess Roeg is my go to guy for that kind of cinema.


That’s one end of his work. But it isn’t the whole story.

I have to think you’ve seen “Women in Love” - and then there are things like “The Boyfriend” and “Billion Dollar Brain” that completely belie that stereotype. Plus things like “The Music Livers,” “Altered States” and others that only touch on all of that weirdness.
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Re: The Devils

Postby The Modernist » 25 Oct 2017, 19:25

Goat Boy wrote:I think The Devils really works though because he is portraying people in the grip of a collective madness, that’s the thing. It’s style and story fused together into a proper whole.

Plus it is a very serious film that has something to say. You can feel the anger, the outrage, it’s visceral, powerful.

From a purely technical point of view I think you’d get a kick out of it


I'm persuaded. I'll give it a go.

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Re: The Devils

Postby Snarfyguy » 25 Oct 2017, 19:43

The Modernist wrote:I can't remember if I've seen it. The idea of Russell sounds attractive, but I don't think I've enjoyed a single one of his films. I once nominated him for worst director ever, which is a bit harsh but not entirely unmerited.

Like Davey, I saw it so long ago that I have nothing useful to add - although at the time I thought it was by far the best of Russell's films I'd seen.
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