Ken Russell’s The Devils
How, on satans earth, did i EVER not know about this film?
Based on a novel by Aldous Huxley and a play by John Whiting, The Devils chronicles the rise and fall of respected priest Urbain Grandier (played by Oliver Reed at his very best) in 17th Century France as he is methodically demolished physically, politically, and in the eyes of the public by the hunchbacked, sexually repressed Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave). What ensues is a Crucible-esque display of nuns feigning demonic possession by Grandier in order to ensure his demise, which gives these nuns free reign to do anything…and I mean anything. Masturbating with candles. Raping a giant crucifix. Forced enemas. (Does this hint at the reasons why this film had one of the most dramatic censorship battles in the history of British cinema?) But don’t let these petty details deter you – The Devils is not a superficial piece of filmmaking meant only to shock, but a work of art that will rock you to your very core.
Read more at Film School Rejects: See Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’ in NYC on Monday – Film School Rejects http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/see-ken-russells-the-devils-in-nyc-on-monday-lpalm.php#ixzz0eixGTVML
He lacerated the sacred monsters of the church, was blatantly homoerotic, sympathized with the witches and was stylishly camp. The production designer, Derek Jarman, would later go on to make one of my all-time favorite films, Jubilee. But I was asked to choose a film that influenced my world view during my formative years, In that regard THE DEVILS definitely takes the communion wafer.