Posts Tagged ‘The Devils’

[PRE-ORDER] KEN RUSSELL † THE DEVILS: Behind the Scenes of a Cursed Movie

From the Aardvark Editions website:

Scandal when Les Diables was released in 1971! The film by British troublemaker Ken Russell, freely inspired by the affair of the possessed women of Loudun which had hit the headlines in France in 1634, gave censors a hard time, stirred up conservative crowds and embarrassed its main investors. In the form of a spirited soap opera where testimonies from the period and unpublished interviews intersect, Richard Crouse looks back on the genesis of this cult film, its extravagant shooting and its eventful exit.
An essential book to immerse yourself in the world of the singular filmmaker Ken Russell and to better understand the mechanisms of censorship and the fascination that Les Diables continues to exert more than fifty years after its production.

At the end of the book, find a long interview with Guillermo del Toro, great laudator of the film and the work of Ken Russell. As well as the press review of the French release to have an overview of the reception of the Devils at home.

Order the French language translation of Richard’s book HERE!

Read more about the Aardvark edition of the book HERE!

Robert Bellissimo At The Movies: RICHARD ON THE LEGACY OF “THE DEVILS.”

FROM: Robert Bellissimo At The Movies

This is movie review of THE DEVILS directed by Ken Russell! My guest is Richard Crouse who wrote the book “Raising Hell And The Unmaking Of The Devils”. This is a segment, which was part of my interview with Richard Crouse on his life and career!
Watch the whole thing HERE!

CHECK IT OUT: RICHARD’S “HOUSE OF CROUSE” PODCAST EPISODE 110!

Welcome to the House of Crouse. We welcome two film directors to sit a spell at the HoC today. William Friedkin is a legend, the director of The Exorcist and The French Connection among many others. We don’t talk about those. Instead I asked him about one the most trangressive movies ever made, The Devils. Listen in to hear his opinion on why naked nuns may have cost Ken Russell a box office hit. Then Christopher Nolan brings his big brain over to talk about Dunkirk and why cinema matters. It’s good stuff, swing by.

 

Metro In Focus: The fraught relationship between faith and film

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-10-18-04-amBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

This weekend professor of religious iconology and symbology Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) returns to theatres in Inferno, the third movie in the Da Vinci Code franchise.

In 2006 the fictional Harvard prof made his big screen debut, uncovering the complicated personal life of Jesus Christ in The Da Vinci Code. Three years later he used his knowledge of symbology to unravel the mystery of a secret brotherhood called the Illuminati and thwart a terrorist act against the Vatican.

In between those two movies I received dozens of outraged emails, long tracts regarding Dan Brown’s books, the up-coming movie, The Illuminati and the veracity of the stories.

In response to the anxious folks who contacted me, concerned the film, which had not been released yet, would be a dangerous piece of anti-Catholic propaganda, I wrote a forward to my Angels and Demons review, pointing letter writers toward the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. They described Angels and Demons as “harmless entertainment which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity.” Their review noted it is filled with historical inaccuracies but went on to suggest that one could make a game of pointing out all of the film’s historical mistakes.

In other words, don’t take it seriously and you’ll have a good time. Despite the Vatican newspaper’s warm embrace, the film still ignited a firestorm of criticism from people upset about the story’s alleged anti-Catholic sentiments, “malicious myths” and churches being associated with scenes of murder.

Inferno sidesteps religious controversy with a tale of a deadly virus that threatens all of humanity, but cinema and religion have often made for uncomfortable pairings.

In 1999 the Catholic League denounced Dogma’s tale of two fallen angels (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) trying to get back into heaven as “blasphemy.” More recently uproar erupted over Darren Aronofsky’s unorthodox take on the story of Noah. Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, loudly objected to the film’s “insertion of the extremist environmental agenda.”

Perhaps the most controversial religious film ever was The Devils, based on Aldous Huxley’s nonfiction book The Devils of Loudun. Years before Ken Russell made the movie, a filmmaker approached Huxley wanting to turn the story of a radical 17th century French Catholic priest accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake, into a film. Huxley said, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t make a movie out of this.’ He thought there was no way the story could be presented in an entertaining way without short-circuiting people’s minds. Turns out maybe he was right.

Forty-five years after its release Russell’s film is little seen but much talked about. Banned, censored and still unavailable in its complete form on Blu-Ray, the movie’s graphic church orgy offended many—and was cut to pieces and removed by censors—but it’s more than shock and titillation. It’s a film that makes a serious statement about the struggle between church and state but does so in an entertaining and provocative way.

Lots of movies contain violence or sex or religion, but Russell mixed all three together in one toxic cocktail. If released today The Devils may not inspire riots in the streets, as it did in 1971, but if presented in its complete form the following indignation would make the Angels and Demons protests seem tame.

Boston Globe: Harvard Film Archive screens Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 12.34.06 PM“… Speaking by phone from Toronto, film critic Richard Crouse, who wrote the 2012 book “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils,” said, “It’s a film that is about sex, about religion, about violence, and that corner in which all three of those things intersect. Good does not necessarily triumph over evil, and in that way I think Ken Russell, who was a devout Catholic, presented a story that helped him question his faith, deepen his faith, but also have a long hard look at his faith. And he did it on film, for everyone to see…”

Read the whole Boston Globe article by Ed Symkus HERE!

HELP KEN RUSSELL’S MASTERPIECE GET A BLU RAY RELEASE! #FREETHEDEVILS

From the Facebook page Free Ken Russell’s The DevilsTo answer another question many people have asked; yes, there WILL be a petition to sign. As this campaign is in its early days, I’m still working out the details, but keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime; SHARE, TWEET, BLOG, COMMENT and WRITE. Go to Twitter and tweet #FreeTheDevils

Read Guillermo Del Toro’s fiery plea for this hard-to-see masterpiece’s release on Blu Ray and DVD HERE.

Read about Richard’s book “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils” HERE! Buy it HERE!

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GUILLERMO DEL TORO AND RICHARD ON “THE DEVILS” AT TIFF!

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 9.24.10 AMGuillermo del Toro and Richard Crouse appeared at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Monday November 24, 2014 for an extended introduction and post-screening discussion on Russell’s fevered adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun.

 In 17th-century France, a vain priest (Oliver Reed) becomes the object of a literal witch hunt when a mad nun (Vanessa Redgrave) accuses him of being a sorcerer, in Ken Russell’s fevered adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun.
‡This screening is eligible for our Rush policy. Ticket holders must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the screening in order to ensure entry. If this event goes Off Sale, tickets will be made available to the Rush line 10 minutes before the start of the screening. MORE INFO HERE!
Thanks to Mark Levy for the photographs!
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Richard talks Ken Russell and “The Devils” on The Projection Booth podcast!

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.16.11 AMFrom The Projection Booth’s website:

Episode 168: The Devils

Special Guest: Richard CrouseIt’s fun for the whole family as we talk about Ken Russell’s controversial 1971 film “The Devils”. Censored for over 40 years because of content, “The Devils” tells the tale of Urbain Grandier – the priest of Loudun, France who in 1634 was persecuted through an unholy mix of Church, State and Sex.

Joining us is special guest co-host filmmaker Vincenzo Natali.

Our special guest this week is film critic/author Richard Crouse discussing his book “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils.”

I get paid to watch these things, what’s your excuse? By Richard Crouse

review_The_DevilsWhy I am left nursing a nasty Hangover after drinking in too many movie sequels?

There is a great scene in Ken Russell’s 1971 forgotten masterpiece The Devils. Oliver Reed as the whiskey priest Father Grandier has been tortured by a church sanctioned witch hunter. His legs crushed, his tongue pierced, he refuses to confess to heresy. His tormentor leans in one last time to question the priest’s commitment to his faith.

“Do you love the church?”

After a long pause the broken and battered holy man says, “Not today.”

I bring this up because I have just read that 2011, with a sum total of 27 movie sequels scheduled to hit theatres, is the biggest year yet for sequels and I feel like my cinematic church has been defiled.

This weekend alone offers up two part twos, the imaginatively titled The Hangover Part Two and Kung Fu Panda 2.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with movie sequels. Arguably The Godfather 2 outstrips the original, and The Bride of Frankenstein is unquestionably a better movie than its predecessor. So are Aliens, Toy Story 2 and Dawn of the Dead. It’s possible to make sequels that improve on the source, so why doesn’t Hollywood do it more often?

Because they don’t have to, that’s why. Audiences get the movies they deserve.

Need proof. Look no further than last week’s box office. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which I called a “monstrosity” in this space just seven days ago, soldiered on despite my scathing review to gross $90 million domestically, $260.4 million world wide.

Hollywood wouldn’t spend the time or effort to make these photocopy quality sequels if we didn’t line up to see them, so the next time you’re wondering why you haven’t had a truly great time at the movies recently, think back to the amount of movies you saw with a 2, 3 or 4 in the title and hang your head in shame.

I love going to the movies, sitting with strangers and getting wrapped up in the images flying through the air, but when I leave the theatre after watching—or should I say, enduring—PotC: On Stranger Tides and its ilk, I feel like Grandier. I love the movies, but catch me on the right day, ask me the question, and my answer would be, “Not today.”

I get paid to watch these things, what’s your excuse?