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Yakuza: Beautiful hand-painted vintage portraits of tattooed Japanese gangsters
02.22.2016
11:35 am

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Art
Belief
History

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I had never heard of the Yakuza until I tuned in one night to a Robert Mitchum movie back in the 1970s. Here was big Bob dealing with bad boy Japanese gangsters in a clash of east meets west. The film was simply titled The Yakuza. It was written by brothers Leonard and Paul Schrader—their first hit screenplay and one in which can be seen some of the themes they would later develop individually and together in movies like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Mishima. I liked the film and was greatly intrigued by the rituals depicted in it and the code of honor by which these dangerous, violent gangsters lived their lives.

One ritual in particular, the chopping off of the top of the small finger as a payment or apology for any wrong-doing, I thought bizarre and hardly punishment at all until I later discovered its historic symbolism. The removal of the tip made it difficult for an individual to hold their samurai sword. The sword was gripped tight by the bottom three fingers while flexibility and movement was produced by index finger and thumb. To lose a chunk of a fingertip or the whole pinky was ultimately a death sentence—as the punished yakuza would eventually be unable to defend themselves in a fight.

The film also picked up on the awesome body tattoos these way heavy gangsters sported. Whole bodies decorated with elaborate illustrations of beautiful maidens, tranquil landscapes, and grinning demons. Like bad boy superheroes, these guys could walk around in their suits and ties all day and no one would know they were Yakuza. Come nightfall, in the comfort of their own gangland den, the clothes would come off and the tatts would be displayed.

These tattoos or irezumi as they’re called in Japan—a word that literally mean insert ink—were originally representative of an individual’s spirituality or biography. This lasted for a good two-three thousand years. Then around the Kofun era (330-600AD), tattoos were considered a symbol of being criminal or lower class. Their popularity fluctuated until tattooing was outlawed sometime around the Meiji era (1868-1912), when Japan moved from a feudal world into a unified country. Tattoos were seen as an embarrassing symbol of Japan’s uncivilised past. The practice moved underground—continued by criminal gangs, who tattooed the unexposed parts of their bodies. Hence the all-over body tattoos many yakuza carry to this day on their skin. These tattoos are “hand-poked”—that is the ink is put under the skin by using sharpened bamboo spears or small handmade needles. It is a long, painful and laborious process but one that most yakuza accept as part of the ritual of being a gang member.

The Meiji era also brought an end to the samurai warriors, who were outlawed and conscripted into the army. Some chose to join the yakuza instead—as many yakuza had fought alongside samurai for local shoguns. The issue of body tattoos becomes complicated as there were samurai who sported such irezumi as a means of identification should they be killed on the battlefield. As samurais faded, the criminal fraternity thrived. Today yakuza play a major role in Japan—both in criminal activity (prostitution, money laundering, people trafficking) and legitimately in media and politics. The yakuza keep drugs out of Japan, they also organize charity and aid relief for disaster victims. Most Japanese accept the yakuza as a necessary part of national life. Each yakuza family or gang have their own set of rules and regulations which differ group to group and gang to gang.

These hand-painted photographs from the late 1800s and early 1900s depict members of the yakuza displaying their gang related tattoos. Some have posed in relation to their standing within the gang, most have kept their faces hidden, but each has a different style of tattoo inked on their body.
 
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More vintage yakuza tattoos, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
He Touched Me (and I didn’t like it): A collection of ‘He Touched Me’-themed album covers
01.26.2016
07:46 am

Topics:
Amusing
Belief

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“He Touched Me” sure was a popular theme back in the day. I had no idea it was this popular, though.  Whoever this “He” is—if that is, in fact, his real name—he apparently touched just about everybody. This asshole knew no boundaries either, whether it be male, female, adult, child, the elderly, couples and even… entire families, he’d touch ‘em! These album covers are heartbreaking cries for help. Why didn’t anyone pay attention?!

Here’s a visual guide to show you just how many people He has “touched.” F*ck this guy!
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Astonishing pictures of 21st century pagan ritual garb from all over Europe
01.19.2016
03:25 pm

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Art
Belief

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Germany
 
You might not know it, but we’re in the middle of pagan ritual season! Every year from December until Easter, people from every country in Europe partake in pagan rituals in order to honor the planet’s annual cycle of death and rebirth.

Several years ago Charles Fréger set out to document the many costumes used all over Europe for pagan rituals, visiting 18 countries on his journey to pin down the archetype of the “Wild Man” that transcends any one culture. The pictures were then collected in a marvelous book called Wilder Mann. The costumes he found resemble something out of commedia dell’arte or Día de los Muertos, only far deeper and far stranger. They clearly represent the devil, billy goats, wild boars, and bizarre conflagrations thereof, using all manner of masks, straw, horns, pine twigs, antlers, bells, fur, and bones.

As it happens, I’ve attended pagan rituals myself, in rural Austria, and I’ve met men who work on their intricate, large, wooden Krampus masks all year long in preparation for the fantastical Krampus “performance” in early December. I mention this as a prelude to explaining that (in my opinion) telling the difference between some authentic pagan belief and just people partaking in a fun pastime isn’t a straightforward proposition. It isn’t that such people are necessarily undertaking such rituals in order appease the earth goddess Erda and improve next year’s crop yield or anything like that, but at the same time I think that participants and spectators alike would agree that everyone is getting something necessary out of it, something communal, something emotional.

Of the project, Fréger says, “‘It is not about been possessed by a spirit but it is about jumping voluntarily in the skin of an animal. You decide to become something else. You chose to become an animal, which is more exciting than being possessed by a demon.”

Enjoy these remarkable pictures.
 

Finland
 

Basque Country
 

Portugal
 

Macedonia
 
More pagan ritual garb after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Six Into One’: Seldom seen doc on Patrick McGoohan’s cult TV classic ‘The Prisoner’
01.18.2016
03:24 pm

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Art
Belief
Television
Thinkers

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The actor Patrick McGoohan had been kicking around ideas for a new television series when writer George Markstein told him about Inverlair Lodge in Scotland. The Lodge had been used by Special Operations Executive during the Second World War as “a detention or internment camp” for those individuals who refused to take part in covert operations “once they became aware of the full details.”

Some were unable to kill when the occasion was reduced to a one-on-one scenario, as opposed the anonymity of a battlefield exchange. With information being released on a Need to Know basis, their training meant that they were in possession of highly classified and secret information relating to pending missions, and could not be allowed to return to public life, where a careless remark could have compromised their secrecy.

As Markstein later explained the residents were:

...largely people who had been compromised. They had reached the point in their career where they knew too much to be let loose, but they hadn’t actually done anything wrong. They weren’t in any way traitors, they hadn’t betrayed anything, but in their own interest it was better if they were kept safely.

Inverlair Lodge was also known as “No. 6 Special Workshop School.” McGoohan was intrigued by the idea and began developing a series idea set in a similar internment camp, The Prisoner.
 
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Patrick McGoohan started his career as an actor in theater. He was spotted early on by Orson Welles who cast him his production of Moby Dick. Welles thought McGoohan had “unquestionable” acting ability and thought he would become one of cinema’s greatest actors.

McGoohan’s early success in theater led to a movie contract. Unfortunately, the film producers who snapped him up didn’t know what to do with this unique talent. McGoohan was cast in a few B-movies that offered limited scope for him to shine. At his earliest opportunity, McGoohan got out of his film contract and moved into television.

Learning from his ill-fated experience in movies, McGoohan stipulated that he had control over what he did on the small screen. McGoohan was a Roman Catholic and eschewed violence and refused to kiss on grounds that he considered it unnecessary and even possibly adulterous.

In 1960, he starred as John Drake in Danger Man. The series was moderately successful on its first run, but quickly took off after the release of the first James Bond feature Dr. No—a film that McGoohan had knocked back as he disliked its script’s promiscuous sex and violence.

By 1966, Danger Man was a hit across most of the world and McGoohan was TV’s highest paid actor. But McGoohan felt he had achieved all he could with the character and wanted to move on. Determined to keep him working for his TV company, legendary producer Lew Grade asked McGoohan if there was anything he wanted to make. McGoohan pitched him The Prisoner. Grade liked it and agreed to a produce it. The deal was sealed on a handshake.

A secret agent (McGoohan) resigns his commission to his handler—a cameo from the show’s co-creator George Markstein who is seen in the opening titles. Returning to his apartment, McGoohan is gassed. When he awakes he is a prisoner in the “Village” a kind of Psy-Ops theme park on a strange island. He no longer has a name but is identified only as “No. 6.” He is interrogated by No. 2 who demands “information.” In each episode No. 6 attempts to escape the Village while trying to unravel the mystery of who is No. 1.

The Prisoner became one of the most famous TV series of the 1960s. It was hailed as “television’s first masterpiece”—one of the most talked about and controversial shows ever made. Almost fifty years after it was first aired, its appeal continues—and The Prisoner was even remade in 2009 with Jim Caviezel as No. 6 and Ian McKellen as No. 2.

There are numerous theories as to the “meaning” of The Prisoner, but it difficult not to view the series without some small reference to McGoohan’s own religious beliefs. Here is an island where everyone is watched, recorded, and examined by an omnipotent and omniscient overlord; where No. 6 is repeatedly asked to give up information—or to confess his guilt; and where No. 1 is finally revealed to be No. 6—“The greatest enemy that we have” as McGoohan described No. 1 in an interview with Wayne Troyer:

No. 1 was depicted as an evil, governing force in this Village. So, who is this No. 1? We just see the No. 2’s, the sidekicks. Now this overriding, evil force is at its most powerful within ourselves and we have constantly to fight it, I think, and that is why I made No. 1 an image of No. 6. His other half, his alter ego.

McGoohan suggests that “The greatest evil that one has to fight constantly, every minute of the day until one dies, is the worst part of oneself”—which is something he could have lifted directly from the Catholic belief in “original sin.”

Like another Catholic, writer Anthony Burgess—who wrote about the freedom of an individual to do right or wrong in his cult novel A Clockwork OrangeMcGoohan stated that No. 6:

...shouldn’t have to answer to anyone. It’s entirely his prerogative, his God-given right as an individual, to proceed in any way he sees fit. That’s the whole point of it all.

The Prisoner was not just a Cold War series about individual freedom in the face of totalitarianism but the freedom of each individual to choose one’s own path and take responsibility for their own actions in a materialist society. McGoohan was against the materialist/capitalist world of the Village and when The Prisoner ended in 1968, he aligned himself with the rioting students in Paris. He hoped his series might inspire a revolution, a point he discussed in an interview as to why the French were so obsessed with his series:

...there comes a time when revolt is necessary: In the last episode…there was no room for niceness anymore. There were machine guns, and people died. It was time for the Revolution. The French know that: Allons z’ enfants…

 
Watch ‘One Into Six’ plus McGoohan’s lost ‘LA Tapes,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Church built in the shape of a high heel in hopes of attracting women
01.15.2016
08:30 am

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Amusing
Belief

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I’m not sure the saying “If you build it, they will come” will necessarily work in this circumstance. Perhaps maybe in a Disney attraction sort of way. A giant glass high heel—made out of over 320 tinted glass panels—was built in Chiayi, Taiwan to attract female parishioners. Yes, to attract women. From what I’ve been reading about the church, is that it will host very few church services and will used more for wedding ceremonies and as a female tourist attraction.

The shoe was inspired by a local story. According to officials in the 1960s, a 24-year-old girl surnamed Wang from the impoverished region suffered from Blackfoot disease. Both of her legs had to be amputated, leading to the cancellation of her wedding. She remained unmarried and spent the rest of her life at a church.

The high heel is intended to honour her memory.

Uplifting story... The church plans to open for the Lunar New Year in February.


 

 
via BBC and Christian Nightmares

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Apocalypse Then: Monsters, nightmares & portents from ‘Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs’
01.05.2016
10:56 am

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Art
Belief
Books
Kooks

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When Oliver Sacks was starting out on his career in neurology, he noted that many of his colleagues never seemed to read or make reference to any scientific papers more than five years old. Sacks found this strange, for as a teenager in England he had devoured numerous books on the history of chemistry and biology and even botany. However, to his fellow neurologists Sacks’ interest in the “historical and human dimension” of science was considered “archaic.” Undeterred, Sacks was convinced the historical narrative offered a better understanding of scientific investigation.

This became evident with his diagnosis of a patient who suffered incessant jerking movements of the head and limbs. With his knowledge of previous scientific investigations, Sacks was able to correctly identify the cause of the patient’s illness while at the same time confirm a theory put forward by two German pathologists—Hallervorden and Spatz—in 1922, which had almost been forgotten. This only further convinced Sacks of the great insights to be gleaned from having some historical understanding of science.

Something similar is going on here in the phantasmagorical Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs from 1552—which presents a continuous religious narrative from Biblical stories through historical events, and assumed portents and signs right up to the 16th century—the era when Protestantism became the dominant Christian religion in England, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland.

Privately commissioned in the German town of Augsburg, this “miracle” book was published in “123 folios with 23 inserts, each page fully illuminated, one astonishing, delicious, supersaturated picture follows another.” While church reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin denounced Catholicism for its superstitious and idolatrous beliefs, the Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs served to remind its Protestant readers of the hand of God working thru various strange and ominous events—earthquakes, plagues of locusts, weird beasts, monstrous births and unusual solar activity. Like many of his fellow reformers, Luther believed such portents signified The End of Days and the coming Apocalypse—a trope that continues to this day. 

But for the modern secular reader, these beautiful water colors and gouaches describe meteorological events—floods, hailstones, storms; seismic activity—the Lisbon earthquake; solar activity; and the cyclical path of comets; all of which—as Oliver Sacks understood—can give science its human and historical dimension.

M’colleague, Martin Schneider previously posted on this wondrous book, stating he wished he was able to read the descriptions accompanying the images. Well, this where possible I have now done or have described the scene illustrated. For those who would like to own their own copy, a facsimile edition of the Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs has been published by Taschen and is available here.
 
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The great flood—in the center what maybe a representation of Noah’s ark.
 
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The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
 
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Moses parts the Red Sea.
 
More ‘divine’ revelation, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Watch two televangelists defend their private jets
01.04.2016
09:10 am

Topics:
Amusing
Belief
Idiocracy
Television
U.S.A.!!!

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Yes, because God had nothing better to do that day than ask you two nitwits about your private planes.

Here’s five nauseating minutes of televangelists Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis defending their use and ownership of private planes. It was God’s will that Grandma’s Social Security check would be siphoned off towards these gentlemen’s need to travel in style and comfort. I mean, what if they came into contact with demonic DEMONS in a municipal airport? You can’t have that! It’s God’s will.

Send them your money.

 
via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
A journey to Rome to visit the long-dead saints whose bodies don’t stink
12.18.2015
05:43 pm

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Belief

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The incorrupt body of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, wax portraiture over bone, San Crisogono, Rome.
 
For many in our empirical and rational age, the belief in miracles and saints that is an accepted part of Catholic doctrine might present something of a challenge. As a species we now understand enough of the natural world to be able to send men to the moon, while the shelves of any pharmacy seem to establish much the same premise, that secular science, let’s say, might prevail over prayer. Paradoxically, the apparent dominance of science in our lives has the effect of making belief in miracles and saints that much more powerfully a test of faith.

This brings us to Elizabeth Harper’s fascinating photographs of the bodies of “incorrupt” saints. There is a group of saints whose special status is emphasized by the fact that their bodies refuse to decompose. The allure of such an idea is easy enough to imagine—the purity of a person’s soul reflected in some magical ineffability of the body. Bad people ought to stink more after they die, right? It makes a weird kind of intuitive sense. Unfortunately, the facts of nature don’t play along.

The secular mind rejoices when Dostoevsky reveals in The Brothers Karamazov that the body of the pious and wise Father Zossima stinks just as bad as everyone else’s:
 

The fact is that a smell of decomposition began to come from the coffin, growing gradually more marked, and by three o’clock it was quite unmistakable. In all the past history of our monastery, no such scandal could be recalled, and in no other circumstances could such a scandal have been possible, as showed itself in unseemly disorder immediately after this discovery among the very monks themselves. Afterwards, even many years afterwards, some sensible monks were amazed and horrified, when they recalled that day, that the scandal could have reached such proportions. For in the past, monks of very holy life had died, God-fearing old men, whose saintliness was acknowledged by all, yet from their humble coffins, too, the breath of corruption had come, naturally, as from all dead bodies, but that had caused no scandal nor even the slightest excitement. Of course, there had been, in former times, saints in the monastery whose memory was carefully preserved and whose relics, according to tradition, showed no signs of corruption. This fact was regarded by the monks as touching and mysterious, and the tradition of it was cherished as something blessed and miraculous, and as a promise, by God’s grace, of still greater glory from their tombs in the future. (Translation by Constance Garnett)

 
Like the man says: “There had been, in former times, saints ... whose relics, according to tradition, showed no signs of corruption.”

If you go to Rome you can actually pay a visit to a bunch of these incorrupt saints, and recently photographer Harper did just that and came away with a lot of interesting new work. The difficulty of sustaining a belief in incorruptibility as the pitiless centuries grind onward and onward leads to the existence, around the displayed bodies of these saints, of what nonbelievers might term “shenanigans.” But maybe it isn’t so simple—maybe the people in charge of these bodies aren’t so simple, either.

For instance, sometimes the preservation of the incorrupt is (it is claimed) intended to be perceived. The sacristan who was overseeing the sacred relics of Anna Maria Taigi insists that the wax on her body is not there to trick the devout; the intent is to preserve an honest impression of her body in the moment she was discovered in her grave. Meanwhile, St. Paula Frassinetti was given a bath in carbolic acid to assist in the preservation of her body. Pope St. Pius V and St. Vincent Pallotti are encased in silver, while St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Cecelia are encased in white marble.

In reality, of course, the corpses generally do decompose, and squaring this with official doctrine (even if it isn’t considered a hard-and-fast rule in the first place) can be a bit tricky. After 133 years, the body of St. Paula Frassinetti at the Convent of St. Dorotea in Rome is shriveled and brown, and Francesca Romana is pretty much a skeleton. According to Heather Pringle, who has led a team of pathologists from the University of Pisa in researching the subject, opening a tomb sometimes disrupts the microclimates that leads to spontaneous preservation, which can affect even the body of a saint.

As Harper writes:

This is surprisingly unproblematic for believers. The Church doesn’t count incorruptibility as an official Vatican-approved miracle anymore. It’s more like a favorable, if fading, sign from God.

Incorruptibility also isn’t binary, something you either are or aren’t. It can affect just one body part, lending extra significance to a heart, a tongue or hand. There are shades and degrees within the ranks of the incorrupt that make their numbers impossible to tally.


 
The standard account of incorruptible saints is The Incorruptibles: A Study of the Incorruption of the Bodies of Various Catholic Saints and Beatified by Joan Carroll Cruz, a housewife who decided to research and count every incorrupt saint.
 

The tomb of St. Cecilia, the first incorrupt saint. This famous effigy depicts the position her body was found in. Note the wound in her neck from her martyrdom., Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome.
 

The wax effigy of St. Carlo da Sezze. His relics are enshrined under the altar behind his effigy, San Francesco d’Assisi a Ripa Grande, Rome.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Holy rollers: Church transformed into psychedelic skate park
12.16.2015
12:35 pm

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Art
Belief

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The Church of Santa Barbara in Llanera, Asturias, located near the northern coast of Spain, had been in disrepair for years until a group of concerned individuals formed a collective called the ‘Church Brigade’ and secured funding to transform the stately house of worship into a psychedelic skate park using murals by Okuda San Miguel.

The church was originally designed by Asturian architect Manuel del Busto in 1912. Church Brigade used crowdfunding strategies but also secured a grant from Red Bull. The public skate park is now called Kaos Temple.

The transformation took place in early December. My favorite bit from the project description is “Time flies, do not think and get involved.”
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Sex, Politics and Religion: The making of Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’
12.08.2015
11:02 am

Topics:
Art
Belief
Heroes
Hysteria
Literature
Movies

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The great film director Ken Russell once remarked that if he had been born in Italy and called, say, “Russellini” then critics would have thrown bouquets at his feet. He was correct as Russell’s worst critics were generally slow-witted, myopic beasts, lacking in imagination and untrustworthy in their judgement.

Take for example the critic Alexander Walker who once dismissed Russell’s masterpiece The Devils as:

...the masturbatory fantasies of a Roman Catholic boyhood.

Walker was being petty and spiteful. He was also badly misinformed. Russell was not born a Catholic, he became one in his twenties and was lapsed by the time he made The Devils. More damningly, if Walker had taken a moment to make himself cognisant with Russell’s source material—a successful West End play by John Whiting commissioned by Sir Peter Hall for the Royal Shakespeare Company or its precursor the non-fiction book The Devils of Loudon by Aldous Huxley—then he would have realised Russell’s film was based on historical fact and his so-called excesses were very tame compared to the recorded events. However, Walker’s waspish comments became his claim to fame—especially after he was royally slapped by Russell with a rolled-up copy of his review on a TV chat show in 1971—Russell later said he wished it had been an iron bar rather than a newspaper.
 
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Oliver Reed as Grandier and Vanessa Redgrave as Sister Jeanne rehearse under the watchful eye of Ken Russell.
 
The Devils is the story of a priest named Urbain Grandier and his battle against the ambitions of Church and State to eradicate the independence of the French town of Loudon. In a bid to have this troublesome priest silenced, Grandier was tried for sorcery after a confession was brutally extracted from a nun, Sister Jeanne, who claimed he was an emissary of the Devil. Grandier was acquitted of all charges but a second show trial found him guilty and he was tortured and burnt at the stake. Russell described Grandier’s case as “the first well-documented political trial in history.”

There were others, of course, going back to Christ, but this had a particularly modern ring to it which appealed to me. He was also like many of my heroic characters…great despite himself. Most of the people in my films are taken by surprise, like [the dancer] Isadora Duncan and [the composer] Delius. They’re out of step with their times and their society, but nevertheless manage to produce rather extraordinary changes in attitude and events. This was exactly Grandier’s situation. He was a minor priest who was used as a fall guy in a political conflict, who lost his life and his battle but won the war.

After that they [the Church and State] couldn’t go on doing what they were doing in quite the same way, and around that time [1634] the Church did begin to lose its power. Twenty years later no one could have been burned as a witch in France. The people of Loudon realised too late that this man they knew so well simply couldn’t have been guilty of the things he was charged with, and if they hadn’t been so bemused by the naked nun sideshow that was going on and the business and prosperity it brought to the town, they’d have realised it sooner. So the fall guy achieved as much in the end as if he had been a saint. And to me that’s just what he is.

Though Russell was on a high after his international success with the Oscar-winning Women in Love (1969) starring Glenda Jackson, Alan Bates, Oliver Reed and Jennie Linden, and The Music Lovers (1970) a flamboyant biopic on the life of Tchaikovsky with Richard Chamberlain and Glenda Jackson, he had found it difficult to find a backer for The Devils. Original producers United Artists pulled out, leaving Russell “out on a limb: having written a script and commissioned set designs from Derek Jarman and costume designs from Shirley Russell.

It would have been a disaster to scrap all that work. Bob Solo, the producer, who had spent years getting the rights to Huxley’s book and Whiting’s play started looking around for another backer, but it took four months of offering the package before Warner Brothers agreed to have a go.

Russell’s script was considered too long and cuts were made. He had originally made Sister Jeanne the focus of his story, following the nun through her involvement in Grandier’s execution to her career as a star:

I suppose it’s the film that turned out most like I wanted it to, though I would have liked to carry the story further to show what happened to [Cardinal] Richelieu and Sister Jeanne. At the end de Laubardemont says “You’re stuck in this convent for life”, but as soon as he’d gone Jeanne set about getting out because her brief moment of notoriety had whetted her appetite for more. So she gouged a couple of holes in her hands and pretended she had the stigmata, saw ‘visions’ and, with the help of Sister Agnes, gulled some old priest into thinking she was the greatest lady since the Virgin Mary.

So she and Agnes went on a jaunt all over France and were hailed with as much fervour as show biz personalities and pop stars are received today. In Paris 30,000 people assembled outside of her hotel just in the chance of getting a glimpse of her. She became very friendly with Richelieu, the King and Queen wined and dined her, she had a grand old time. When she died—I particularly wanted to include this scene—they cut off her head and put it in a glass casket and stuck it on the altar in her own convent. People came on their knees from miles around to pay her homage.

 
More from Ken Russell and ‘The Devils’ including special documentary, photospread and Oliver Reed interview, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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