Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon

Wednesday, October 21, 2005 – 7:30 pm
Great Britain/France/Japan 1998. Director: John Maybury
Cast: Derek Jacobi, Daniel Craig, Tilda Swinton, Anne Lambton, Karl Johnson

“One of the nastiest and most truthful portraits of the artist-as-monster ever filmed” (Stephen Holden, New York Times), Love Is the Devil offers a riveting and disquieting depiction of a riveting and disquieting painter. Recognized during his lifetime as “England’s greatest living painter,” Francis Bacon (played here in a fearless, astonishing performance by Derek Jacobi) created violent and disturbing paintings portraying the human body in all its ugliness and anguish — his works a constant probing of the horrors of existence. The film’s provocative sexual content and willingness to delve into the less attractive aspects of Bacon’s flamboyant personality made it a controversial project; the filmmakers were denied access to Bacon’s paintings by the artist’s estate. Director John Maybury turns this disadvantage to his favour, using lighting, composition and distorted lenses to capture the sense of Bacon’s own smeared images. The result is “a claustrophobic atmosphere of constant, restless nastiness – a gleefully gross phantasmagoria of nicotine-stained, unhealthylooking English eccentrics” (Gemma Files, Eye Weekly). Colour, 35mm. 90 mins.

The program will include a post-screening discussion with:
Ramon Kubicek writer, artist, educator. Ramon currently teaches film history as well as art and design history at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He has published short fiction, poetry, criticism, a book on art, “One Source”, and worked on film documentaries.

Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

Cosponsored by Gallery Gachet and the Art Studios and The Ubyssey