Love Is The Devil: Study For A Portrait Of Francis Bacon

Love Is The Devil: Study For A Portrait Of Francis Bacon

Director: John Maybury Cast: Derek Jacobi, Daniel Craig, Tilda Swinton


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This British biographical drama probes the life of painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992), critically acclaimed as the outstanding British painter of the latter half of the 20th Century. This unsympathetic portrait of Bacon (Derek Jacobi) begins when George Dyer (Daniel Craig), a small-time criminal from working-class East End environs, drops through a skylight to rob Bacon's studio -- and is ordered into bed by Bacon. The two become a familiar couple at Bacon's hangout, the Colony Room in Soho. Bacon's sexual interests lean toward S&M, but as the cruel Bacon loses interest in Dyer and begins to look elsewhere, the couple splits. Left to his own devices, Dyer turns to drugs and alcohol -- and a tragic suicide. Visual grotesqueries and a trancelike Ryuichi Sakamoto music score capture the essence of Bacon's work (although paintings by Bacon are not seen onscreen here). The film is told in the form of a flashback from Bacon's successful 1971 retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris to a period in the mid-'60s. Bacon biographer Daniel Farson (The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon) served as consultant on the film.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/20/2015
UPC: 0712267342020
Original Release: 1998
Rating: NR
Source: Strand Home Video
Time: 1:30:00
Sales rank: 13,955

Special Features

Commentary with Director John Maybury & actor Derek Jacobi; Original theatrical trailer; Other Strand Releasing Trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Derek Jacobi Francis Bacon
Daniel Craig George Dyer
Tilda Swinton Muriel Belcher
Anne Lambton Isabel Rawsthorne
Adrian Scarborough Daniel Farson
Karl Johnson John Deakin
Annabel Brooks Henrietta Moraes
Richard Newbold Blond Billy

Technical Credits
John Maybury Director,Screenwriter
Annie Symons Costumes/Costume Designer
Takashi Asai Executive Producer
Paul Davies Sound/Sound Designer
Daniel Farson Consultant/advisor
Ben Gibson Executive Producer
Daniel Goddard Editor
Patrice Haddad Executive Producer
Ken Lee Sound/Sound Designer
Alan Macdonald Production Designer
John Mathieson Cinematographer
Chiara Menage Producer
Deborah Saban Asst. Director
Ryuichi Sakamoto Score Composer
Frances-Anne Solomon Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Love Is The Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon
1. Chapter 1 [10:13]
2. Chapter 2 [12:25]
3. Chapter 3 [10:21]
4. Chapter 4 [12:13]
5. Chapter 5 [4:07]
6. Chapter 6 [:12]
7. Chapter 7 [:12]
8. Chapter 8 [:12]

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Love Is The Devil: Study For A Portrait Of Francis Bacon 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
Returning to films remembered from the past is a fortunate aspect of owning DVDs. LOVE IS THE DEVIL: STUDY FOR A PORTRAIT OF FRANCIS BACON is an art film that belongs in the collection of all those who admire the great British artist. One of the aspects of this film that makes it so powerful is revealed in the latter part of the title: many of Bacon's paintings were names 'Studies for...' and what writer/director John Maybury has created here are the impulses or stimuli that probably are close to the visual and visceral seeds resulting in the canvases of Bacon. Rather than a biography of Bacon, LOVE IS THE DEVIL is episodic, attempting to recreate some of the situations that focused the mind of the man who created such grossly distorted creatures that ranged from the Pope to athletes, to portraits of his friends, to highly charged images of his long term physical ally, George Dyer. The camera pulls in and out of focus just the way Bacon's paintings do and instead of replicating Bacon's actual works, the film merely suggests the nidus that began the ideas: there are extended periods of Bacon, all dressed up for his smarmy nights on the dark side of town, turning from side to side, in and out of focus, not unlike his triptychs of Self Portraits. Fully in charge of this 'study' of the genius is Derek Jacobi in a brilliant portrayal of the strange man who would become England's most honored painter. He has managed to discover myriad gestures and rituals like Bacon and whether he is in his infamous filthy studio or at The Colony bar he simply IS Francis Bacon. Balancing the needs and fragility of Bacon's psyche is a stunning portrait of the lost and tortured George Dyer by Daniel Craig. The interaction between these two actors is magical. And discovering the friends of Bacon who so often became models becomes a game of recollection as we are introduced to Muriel Belcher (Tilda Swinton), Henrietta Moraes (Anabel Brooks), Isabel Hawthorne (Anne Lambton), Daniel Farson (Adrian Scarborough) and John Deakin (Karl Johnson). Many viewers would find this film difficult viewing as the life and style of the painter are less than immaculate. But for those who love expressionistic figurative art and the joy of creative film making, this is a very fine work to add to the library. Grady Harp