Love Is the Devil

Love Is the Devil

A Study for A Portrait of Francis Bacon

DVD - 2006
Average Rating:
6
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A biographical drama depicting the life of painter Francis Bacon, focusing on his relationship with a self-destructive young lover, George Dyer.

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lukasevansherman
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.

m
Mooseum
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.

a
akirakato
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.

p
patch666
Apr 20, 2017

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

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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