OFICJALNE AUTORYZOWANE WYDANIE WARNER BROTHERS - dużo lepsze niż dotychczasowe !
Legendarny, skandalizujący i skrajnie kontrowersyjny film Kena Russella luźno oparty na powieści Aldousa Huxleya.
Film wyklęty, praktycznie niedostępny - a wielka szkoda, bo to świetny film - prawdopodobnie najlepszy film Russella!
Brilliant and brutal, stunning and painful, not an easy film to watch, but easily Russell's best film, and one of the most powerful films ever made, depicting the repression of enlightenment by the powers of orthodoxy, that continues to this day. Don't miss it.
The loosening of censorship restrictions in the late sixties and seventies led to a frenetic period in the history of the cinema, when nothing exceeded like excess and when filmmakers tried to break as many taboos as they could in the course of one movie, often egged on by critics who assumed that a controversial film was automatically a good one. Of course, a controversial film is not automatically a bad one, and there were many films which were rubbished at the time by the Moral Majority or the Mary Whitehouse tendency but which can now be seen as very good ones, even masterpieces. Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" is a good example. Many others, however, Tinto Brass's "Caligula" being a notorious offender, simply seem to have been made according to the standard recipe in the Beginner's Guide to Making an Instant Art-house Classic, add a bit of kinky sleaze here, a bit more gruesome violence there, stir in a touch of blasphemy, garnish with a spurious intellectual justification and then sit back and wait for the howls of protest from the outraged bourgeoisie. Ken Russell's "The Devils" falls somewhere between these two extremes. It is set in the French city of Loudun during the reign of Louis XIII. The King's ruthless Chief Minister, Cardinal Richelieu, is determined to bring the whole country under his centralised rule and to put an end to the privileges of self-government enjoyed by the country's towns and cities. The Cardinal's men arrive in Loudun to tear down the city walls, the symbols of its independence and freedom from central control, but are opposed by the local people under the leadership of a charismatic Catholic priest, Urbain Grandier. The Cardinal therefore decides to destroy Grandier by accusing him of heresy, a capital offence at that time. In tune with the spirit of this age, Russell tries to pile in as many shocking elements as he can. (It is not a film for those of a nervous disposition). The scenes showing graphically the sufferings of plague victims could be justified as giving an authentic picture of the seventeenth century, and the scenes of torture as driving home the message about the cruelty of the Inquisition. "Nunsploitation" films seem to have been in vogue in the seventies, "The Devils" falls within this tradition, one of its themes is the idea that Grandier is irresistible to women, including the nuns in the local convent who continually fantasise about him. At times the plot, particularly in the first half of the film, seems confusing. And did Louis XIII really wear a silver bikini when taking part in Court masques? This film is, however, something more than the standard seventies mixture of sleaze, gore and pretentiousness. Russell was never a subtle director, and "The Devils", with its hectic visual style, is at times deliriously over the top. There are, however, two things which make it worth watching. Firstly, Russell does have some genuinely serious points to make about political power and the misuse of religion for political ends. Secondly, whatever his faults, Russell had the ability to bring out the best in his actors. His previous film "The Music Lovers" is otherwise of dubious artistic quality, but it does contain one very fine performance from Glenda Jackson. Jackson had turned down the chance to appear in "The Devils", but her replacement Vanessa Redgrave is also good here. The star performance, however, is from Oliver Reed as Grandier. Reed's reputation as a playboy and bon viveur has, rather unfairly, tended to overshadow his reputation as an actor, but at his best, as here, he could be brilliant. Although Grandier is capable of great courage and integrity, his character is not idealised. He is a flawed hero, a man with something of the religious fanatic about him. He is also a sensual man who enjoys the pleasures of the flesh and has had affairs with several women. Contrary to the discipline of the Catholic priesthood, he has entered into an illegal marriage with a young woman. Although a Catholic, Grandier clearly has some sympathy with the city's Protestants, adopting their criticisms of priestly celibacy and endeavouring to protect them from persecution. Reed is able to convey all these conflicting elements in Grandier's character.
This version of Ken Russell's masterpiece restores all of the cut footage that was removed when the film was released.
Plot Summary for The Devils 1971 Cardinal Riehelieu and his power-hungry entourage seek to take control of pre-rennaisance France, but need to destroy Father Grandier - the priest who runs the fortified town that prevents them from exerting total control. So they seek to destroy him by setting him up as a warlock in control of a devil-possessed nunnery. The mother superior of which is sexually obsessed by him. A mad witch-hunter is brought in to gather evidence against the priest, ready for the big trial.