Love Is the Devil

Love Is the Devil

Study for A Portrait of Francis Bacon

DVD - 1999
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A biographical drama depicting the life of painter Francis Bacon, critically acclaimed as the outstanding British painter of the latter half of the 20th century.
Publisher: Santa Monica, CA : Strand Home Video, c1999
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Sep 22, 2019

Great actors.

Jun 30, 2017

I liked CR's review, in which he gave this film "five dirty, mangled stars." It's not a film for the cautious viewer. An unusual, experimental, raw film about the British artist Francis Bacon, arguably one of the greatest painters of the century, "Love is the Devil" is less about art and more about love or, more precisely, how love can ruin you. Derek Jacobi is magnificent as Bacon and a pre-Bond Daniel Craig is good as his bruised, working class, petty thief lover who never quite fits in with Bacon's waspish, droll, heavy drinking crowd, which includes an almost unrecognizable Tilda Swinton. Director/writer John Mayberry's style and approach is heavy handed, veering heavily to an arty, shallow avant-garde look, which tries to replicate the fleshy bluntness of Bacon's painting, but more often than not looks showy and cheap. Sadly, the filmmakers did not get the rights to his paintings, so you'll learn very little about Bacon the artist. Given how conventional most films about artists are ("Pollock," "Basquait"), at least this tries to be different. And the performances make it worthwhile.

Jun 10, 2017

A portrait of painter Francis Bacon and his relationship with George Dyer. What is perplexing to me is that none of Bacon's paintings are depicted in the movie. There are many "art" shots, through transparent light bulbs and bar glasses, which hint at what Bacon might depict in his work. The black bathroom with its evocative red lines is also reminiscent of a Bacon painting.

Maybe because we are now in the 21st century, this film is not as shocking as it could have been in the 1960s.

May 09, 2017

This is a 1998 docudrama made for television by BBC.
The film concentrates on his strained relationship with George Dyer, a small-time thief.
It draws heavily on the authorised biography of painter Francis Bacon "The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon" by Daniel Farson.
Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, grotesque, emotionally charged and raw imagery.
Like his paintings, the film appears somewhat grotesque.
That's why I don't like this flick.

Apr 20, 2017

Good movie and great book //420 blood and flesh granting life to the world

Jan 28, 2016

This film is authentically shocking, not because it would ever play to a sheltered audience but because the human pathology is shocking, a certain celebrated wickedness, the nauseating spins of alcoholism, cynicism, love untrusted & betrayed. The harsh animal beauty of Daniel Craig's body is shocking, the cinematic devices that hurl the action out of physical reality into vertiginous liminal spaces, dream & memory, the unquiet life of the mind. We see artists & others embrace in their lives a certain armchair evil & apathy & anomic freefall & then watch the inevitable unfold, the terms of the contract come due, & of course it isn't pretty...Francis Bacon's character reveals himself in full when he describes an auto accident he'd encountered & immediately how beautiful, he says, to see the bodies splayed across the concrete, their belongings, blood everywhere. This same highbrow attempt to supersede the tedious bourgeois impulse toward empathy & tenderness forces what could have been a nourishing bond between these two men to implode in all kinds of tiny deaths & depressing poetics. Love is the devil because it's the singular adversary to a worldview where people are ugly & mean nothing, & where transformation is less compelling than the tired degradations of the 20th century's nihilist class. Absolutely brilliantly written & filmed, but tough to watch & very sad. Five dirty, mangled stars. CR

kevfarley Oct 17, 2015

Its sometimes difficult to understand the heavily 'British' accented dialogue,.. and there are no sub-titles.

The director tried to mimic Bacon's style in his cinematic visualizations.

The Artist as (Gay) Bad Boy,.. but without much insight into his creativity.
There is no bonus bio material, and images of the paintings are not shown (!).

I wanted to learn about Bacon,.. but was disappointed.

jmmason Aug 02, 2012

Very interesting bio-pic of English painter Francis Bacon and his boyfriend as portrayed by Sir Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig, respectively. Good work all around. James Bond has dark hair on his head but the rest of him clearly belongs to a blond.


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