"In childhood we inhabit a world of wonderful contrasts that later we often come to see as bizarre and do our best to rearrange, with everything in its 'proper' place. Unusual juxtapositions we label surrealistic. Yet what is surrealism but a second childhood with Freudian overtones which we have to be re-educated to enjoy? -- part of the tragedy of growing up"
- Ken Russell, A British Picture: An Autobiography.
Ken Russell's The Devils is still the greatest movie I have ever watched to this day. I showed the uncensored version to a friend last night and it literally blew his mind. The comparisons between Reformation-era France and today's Politically Correct/Fundamentalist society are apparent and disturbingly obvious.
The movie is really about the world we live in now.
The unresolved Erotomania of Third Wave Feminism is identical to the pathology and hysteria of the young nuns trapped within the Ursuline Convent and how they end up becoming the demented sex monsters they accuse others of being. Sister Jeanne is the same kind of hysterical psychotic as Souad Faress who recently made a false accusation against an innocent man at Waterloo Station in London. Even how the prosecutors in that case slowed the tape down in order to create gaslighting-guilt scenario, is exactly the same method of gathering 'evidence' used by the witch finders in The Devils.
The cinematography evokes a sense of cold inhuman bureaucracy of government department-looking buildings filled with politically correct social workers/diversity officers devoid of souls and human decency.
Oliver Reed character, Urbain Grandier - the 17th century Catholic priest executed for witchcraft in Loudun, France - is indeed a cold and arrogant bastard who uses women, but he is subjected to a fate undeserving of his womanizing as the entire society projects their own wickedness upon him. At the same time, there is a Luciferian purity of vision in how the scenes are lit, which shines a light of extreme brutal honesty upon the narrative and characters exposing the bestial nature of humans for the monsters they sometimes are when dogma and hysteria takes hold.
The modern growth of Comet Death, Psychopath 'Recovery', Paedomanic and Flat Earth Revivalist religious cults on the Internet is reflected in how Russell portrays the fanatical religious orders waging war upon perfectly decent people who do not share their own politically-motivated delusions.
Ken Russell created a work of art that will still take decades before it is universally accepted as the masterpiece it is.
I am not surprised it was banned. It tells the truth of the Psychopathic Control Grid in every possible way, including the wickedness of ordinary people in keeping the horrors in-tact.
The final scene in the movie of is just a decent human being walking away from the madness, dogma and hysteria, and ironically presents us with a surprisingly moving and very 'spiritual' ending to the film. It represents the very essence of No Contact Ever Again told through the vision of Ken Russell's genius.