Author Topic: The Devils  (Read 2587 times)

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Offline Griffith

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The Devils
« on: December 10, 2008, 06:29:56 AM »
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066993/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devils_(film)


This is long overdue, I remember my father first showed me this movie on a crappy old tape after I told him about some scenes from the Conviction Arc. Turned out they reminded him of this, one of his favorite films, a situation bizarrely similar to Flesh + Blood, which he was also a fan of long before I'd ever heard of it, or Berserk for that matter. Anyway, the point, besides that my father is some sort of weird proto-Berserk fan, is that this is another movie Berserk fans should see. While I can't say if Miura himself has seen it or not, I'd certainly like to know; because, what is for certain, is that they definitely draw on a lot of the same sources, and there's plenty of superficial similarities to certain portions of Berserk. It's also just really compelling in it's own right, and has something more in common with Berserk than Flesh + Blood in that they share powerfully twisted perspective at times. It's not Berserk the movie by any means, but sometimes it feels like it.

Unfortunately, unlike Flesh + Blood, it isn't getting a nice re-release to DVD, and finding a decent copy in any format can be difficult. It is however, currently on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EBqIBn5NXw&fmt=18

Offline Rhombaad

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Re: The Devils
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 06:59:49 AM »
I'll check it out tomorrow!  Thanks for the recommendation.  I need to get a copy of Flesh + Blood, which I haven't seen yet but read much about.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: The Devils
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 09:54:54 AM »
I think what reminds people of Berserk in movies like The Devils or Flesh + Blood (and vice versa) is the sheer grit and grim atmosphere they exude. More than anything, those works are linked by the bleak medieval worlds they depict (and the associated values), where the wicked thrive and goodness is seldom encountered.

Unfortunately, unlike Flesh + Blood, it isn't getting a nice re-release to DVD, and finding a decent copy in any format can be difficult.

It can be found if one really wants to. :SK:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000SEFWL0/ref=dp_olp_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1228905611&sr=1-1

Online Walter

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Re: The Devils
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 04:27:54 PM »
I think what reminds people of Berserk in movies like The Devils or Flesh + Blood (and vice versa) is the sheer grit and grim atmosphere they exude. More than anything, those works are linked by the bleak medieval worlds they depict (and the associated values), where the wicked thrive and goodness is seldom encountered.
There seem to be a few strong connections to me, especially to vols 18-21. The setting may as well be Albion, for all intents and purposes. A city ruled by the clergy with demented torturers performing experiments on the people, while outside disease plagues the land. A high inquisitor who specializes in witch hunting, using depraved techniques to exorcise demons. These are all things that obliquely resemble Berserk. But then...

There's Jeanne's character, with her obsessive personality and cycle of sexual fascination, masturbation and self-flagellation. She rather strikingly resembles Farnese during a certain period in her life. As Jeanne explains early in the film, the nunnery she oversees is somewhat a farce. The nuns aren't there because they desire to be holy, or closer to God. They're there because they are the daughters of nobles who wanted them out of the way, or were nuisances. This somewhat resembles the relationship with the Holy See and the Holy Iron Chain Knights, especially since it's Farnese who leads those prissy nobles' sons.

I can see how it may just be the similarities in the time period chosen between these two works, but some of these other details evoke striking similarities to Berserk, to me.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Griffith

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Re: The Devils
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 05:19:24 PM »
It can be found if one really wants to. :SK:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000SEFWL0/ref=dp_olp_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1228905611&sr=1-1

I saw that, unfortunately it sounds like it's anything but decent, one of those bootleg quality DVDs. Still, the easiest way to see the uncut version, hopefully it'll eventually get a true release like Flash + Blood.

Offline Rhombaad

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Re: The Devils
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 06:58:39 PM »
Just finished it.  I noticed many similarities throughout, especially the heretics' corpses on the wheels, as well as similarities between Father Barre and Mozgus.  It was cool seeing Oliver Reed in his prime, as the only film I've seen him in is Gladiator.  Overall, I thought the performances were excellent and while I probably won't pick up a copy, I do hope that the uncut version is remastered and released on DVD eventually for those interested in purchasing it and seeing it the way it was meant to be seen.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: The Devils
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 11:32:09 PM »
There seem to be a few strong connections to me, especially to vols 18-21. The setting may as well be Albion, for all intents and purposes. A city ruled by the clergy with demented torturers performing experiments on the people, while outside disease plagues the land. A high inquisitor who specializes in witch hunting, using depraved techniques to exorcise demons.

Well the general themes of nobles being rotten and disregarding commoners, wicked priests relentlessly hunting heretics, performing violent exorcisms and plague scourging the land are similar, but then again they're similar in a lot of different works that relate to medieval or pseudo-medieval times. And that's because they're mostly based on actual historical events. Like this movie. If you guys dig corpses on wheels, sickening priests and grim executioners then you should check out "Justinien Trouvé, or God's Bastard", I bet you'd find tons of striking similarities to Berserk in there as well. :guts: Really, I don't know what to say other than I don't believe that this stuff is too uncommon.

And Albion wasn't a city, nor was Loudun run by the clergy (but it had authority everywhere at that time, obviously). Now I'll admit that it's been years since I've seen this movie and that I've only briefly browsed through those YouTube clips, but I don't remember the actual events resembling those in Berserk in any particular way other than these generic connexions. I'm not trying to rain down on your parade and I actually really liked this movie when I saw it, but I just think you may be a little too enthusiastic about the similarities. I'm more inclined to agree with Griff that the film is fascinating in its own right, and that its interest in regard to Berserk lies more in that they both draw on some of the same sources. Hmm, this talk makes me interested in reading Huxley's book, actually.

There's Jeanne's character, with her obsessive personality and cycle of sexual fascination, masturbation and self-flagellation. She rather strikingly resembles Farnese during a certain period in her life. As Jeanne explains early in the film, the nunnery she oversees is somewhat a farce. The nuns aren't there because they desire to be holy, or closer to God. They're there because they are the daughters of nobles who wanted them out of the way, or were nuisances. This somewhat resembles the relationship with the Holy See and the Holy Iron Chain Knights, especially since it's Farnese who leads those prissy nobles' sons.

I don't know... Strikingly so? I think you're going a bit far. I can see how that'd remind you of Farnese (we could even add that both are obsessed with one man, though I think it's different and much more complex in Berserk), but I think there are even greater differences between the characters. Though she was shown as a sexual deviant during a time, it was minor compared to her childhood trauma and her fascination with fire, whereas for Jeanne lust is the cause (coupled with her deformity and the resulting inferiority complex) and the focus of what turns into madness in the end. In fact, sexuality is one of the movie's main themes, along with political corruption and the unbreakable faith in God/common sense of one flawed but good man against everyone else's power play. I'd also argue that Farnese never really believed in God while Jeanne truly did but simply couldn't resist her carnal urges and was driven mad.

I didn't remember that line about the nuns being noble daughters that were sent to convent, but I agree with you there. It's worth noting that (if I'm not mistaken) it reflects a historical truth, though. Anyway, I don't really want to argue about this stuff, I think we each consider what's notable or not depending on our experiences and cultural outlook. I'm fine with that.

I saw that, unfortunately it sounds like it's anything but decent, one of those bootleg quality DVDs. Still, the easiest way to see the uncut version, hopefully it'll eventually get a true release like Flash + Blood.

Yeah... The version we have here sucks as well. I read that a new version with restored scenes (one of them showing the crazed nuns pulling down the big cross in the convent and "fornicating" over it) was shown in the US recently in one of the links you posted, so all hope isn't lost yet.

EDIT: Ah, I forgot to add something. I don't know about you guys, but weirdly, what freaked me out the most when I first saw this movie was the new convent director, Mignon. I remember a scene where his face is strangely lighted and he almost looks like an alien or something. Gave me the creeps as a teenager.

Offline The Perineum Falcon

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Re: The Devils
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2010, 01:40:43 AM »
According to The Playlist, The Devils was available for download recently:

"Ken Russell's controversial 1971 film "The Devils," based on the Aldous Huxley novel "The Devils of Loudun," saw a brief release on iTunes this weekend before being swiftly taken away. The film, starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, has had much trouble finding its way into homes, being banned in many areas upon its release. A DVD release has been slated for the spring, but has since been pulled from the release schedule. Warner Bros. has not said a word, only peculiarly offering the film on iTunes for a short window of time and then taking it down. Testing the waters or did someone accidentally flick a switch? Only time will tell...."

I hope to GOD they finally release this, as I've been biting at the bit to see this ever since I glimpsed the first scenes on Youtube. I assume no one here happened to catch this moment of felicity, but if you did........ pm me. =)

Also, I don't know if this is official cover art or what, but i'm not crazy about it (especially held side-by-side with the wonderful poster design above:

 
EDIT:
Also, here's an excellent article on the film *spoils*
http://notcoming.com/reviews/thedevils/
« Last Edit: June 23, 2010, 01:06:50 PM by The Perineum Falcon »
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

Offline Griffith

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Re: The Devils
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2010, 12:46:35 AM »
Yeah, it's definitely something to see. I really do hope they grow a pair and release it. Someone obviously wants to.