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  1. #1
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    Although it might be something of an acquired taste I've always had a high regard for John Maybury's Love Is The Devil and was reminded of it recently whilst watching a TV tribute to George Melly who was very much part of the Soho drinking milieu depicted in the film. The film charts the sado-masochistic relationship between the artist Francis Bacon and his lover George Dyer ( a small-time burglar who quite literally falls into Bacon's life ). Bacon discovers the hapless Dyer breaking into his studio one night and invites him to stay laying the basis for an unlikely but enduring relationship. The S and M nature of that relationship forms the inspiration for many of Bacon's more disturbing paintings - a process that is suggested via distorted camera work, a brilliant way of overcoming the refusal by the Bacon estate to allow any reproduction of his works onscreen. This would normally have shot an artist biopic in the foot at the outset but in this case has the opposite effect since it provides a stunning and brutal insight into the link between Bacon's physical and creative impulses.



    As Bacon Derek Jacobi is an absolute dead-ringer for the artist - uncannily so in fact - and Daniel Craig is equally convincing as the working class fish-out-of-water George Dyer . Neither Bacon's literary/artistic 'set' nor Dyer's East End mates can understand the relationship which renders them an almost endearingly odd couple.



    LITD's other great merit is its depiction of 60's Soho bohemia and in particular the patrons of the notorious Colony Club ( still going strong today ) - a motley crew which included broadcaster Daniel Farson and phographer John Deakin ( a great turn from Karl Johnson ).



    As I say not to everyone's taste but a great little film and a must for anyone who likes their artistic biopics to reveal something about what really made their subject tick.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    I saw this on it's release and found it to be an extremely powerful, but unpleasant experience. Jacobi and Craig are both superb. A good film, but not one I'd particularly want to watch again.



    Bats.

  3. #3
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    Love is the Devil is a superb film but not easy to watch. Both DJ and DC are amazing in it - there are similarities in their destructive relationship to Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell as portrayed in Prick up Your Ears. Tilda Swinton as Muriel Belcher, owner of the Colony is suitably bitchy.



    The Soho crowd of the 50s and 60s hold a morbid fascination for me. I admire their audacity but they lived life like a slow motion car crash.



    "Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends!"

  4. #4
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    "Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends!"



    How I wish I could afford champagne just so I could use that line!

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