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Love Is The Devil [1998] [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Derek Jacobi, Daniel Craig, Tilda Swinton, Adrian Scarborough, Anne Lambton
  • Directors: John Maybury
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Mar. 2006
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000051YHB
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,707 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

John Maybury s dazzling debut feature is an extraordinarily powerful study of the passions that drove one of Britain's greatest and most controversial painters, Francis Bacon (Derek Jacobi). The film charts the turbulent and complex relationship that developed between theflamboyant artist and George Dyer (Daniel Craig), the petty thief who became not only Bacon s lover nbut the model for some of his most intense and celebrated paintings. Set in the bohemian world of 60s Soho, Love is the Devil perfectly captures the decadent underworld of artists models, East End thugs and the infamous drinking den, The Colony Room, presided over by the hilariously foul-mouthed Muriel Belcher.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Love is the Devil is a riveting and disquieting portrait of a riveting and disquieting painter, Francis Bacon. Bacon's place in the pantheon of twentieth century painters is now firmly established, but at a time when anything other than abstract expressionism was ignored by the critical establishment, he went about developing a highly individual style of figurative painting, paintings which are often difficult to look at - large, dark, distorted figures in which the pain suffered by the subject is expressed by the entire composition, often large canvases, as well as twisted facial expressions, grotesqueries on the outside reflecting anguish within.

Bacon was a homosexual, a masochist sexually, but, it seems, much the emotional sadist out of bed. The film covers the period in his life from the dramatic entrance of George Dyer, the younger working class man who became his lover, until Dyer's suicide seven years later. Their relationship is explored in some depth here, with neither condescension nor simplification. Though Bacon comes out of it looking selfish and cruelly insensitive, the art that he made during those years is a sensational testament to the profound emotional connection that he and Dyer shared, for all that intellectually and socially they were worlds apart.

Writer-director John Maybury uses the camera to interpret the images that were Bacon's world, not trying to recreate the paintings, none of which are shown in the film, but to elicit the visual experience and translate it into film pictures that, in turn, suggest what Bacon was doing on canvas.

In some scenes, for example, characters are heavily made up to distort their faces, in one case almost with the look of advanced Bell's palsy.
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I bought this and saw it last night, it was without doubt a little werid but somewhat beautiful. It starts out with Franics Bacon going to George Dyer's apartment and mourning for his upsettling death, then it swtiches to seven years before when they first meet and become doomed lovers. Bacon is more in focus of his paintings and his odd friends while Dyer is falling deeper for him so much that he begins to lose his sainty and destorys his life. The peformances are brilliant, Derek Jacobi is excellent and the right choice as Bacon, he can show little emotion like crueltiy and bitterness while narrating in the background. Daniel Craig is without doubt amazing and brilliant, his final moments still haunt me ever since and that's what I call very good acting. He can show emotions more like tenderness and his mad obesstion of S and M. It's not rubbish or good, there's something about it that made me hypoisted and in awe of it's dark beauty. It's worth seeing if it's a little short and fading to black a lot but there's a rare thing about it that made me give it four stars.
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Format: DVD
A thief (Daniel Craig) breaks through a skylight and lands in the middle of an artist's studio. His flashlight shows paints and brushes and canvas, and scattered thick on the floor pictures and newspaper photographs of carnage, accidents, executions. Peering at him from a slightly open door is the artist (Derek Jacobi). "Not much of a burglar, are you?" the artist says. "Take your clothes off. Come to bed. Then you can have whatever you want."

The artist is Francis Bacon, one of the great painters of the Twentieth Century. The burglar is a working class, not-too-bright man 30 years younger than Bacon named George Dyer. Love Is the Devil tells of Bacon's relationship with Dyer from 1964 until Dyer commits suicide in 1971.

People probably react to this movie much the same way they react to Bacon's paintings and his life. Fascinated or repelled. Or both. Bacon's view of life is certainly there for all to see. He was an aggressive masochist where pleasure is pain and degradation is arousal. On the way to a boxing match with George, he says that "boxing is such an aperitif for sex. Like bull fighting, it unlocks the bowels of feeling." Bacon's circle of friends are brittle, obnoxious, clever queens, whether or not they are gay. They may accept George as Francis' plaything but not as a serious lover. Bacon is aroused and energized by the perversity of life. "We all have nightmares," he says to George unsympathetically one night. "They can't be as horrific as real life." His paintings are usually grotesque manipulations of the human body, where the body can look like an opened side of beef and a face can look like its been turned inside out. One critic called him the morbid poet of the world of evil. That seems to me to be superficial and ignorant.
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Format: VHS Tape
The question is whether you're viewing this as a lover of Bacon's work or to enjoy what is simply a fascinating cult film in itself. A few of the intermittant shots are not the most original and the storyline might not be to all tastes, but the Jacobi-Craig clash and borderline humour of supporting characters combine for some wonderfully twisted dialogue that brings it alive! If you're aware that none of Bacon's work is on offer, and appreciate tongue-in-cheek humour of it's darkest type then you will love this film.
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