I have just been watching Mark Commode's review on Channel 4 of Ken Russell's film "The Devils". The programme explained how Commode has helped in the restoration of previously missing scenes from the film and his ten year search for the 'Knob and Balls of Christ' footage that turned up in an Anglican bishop's attic. Apparently these scenes should never have been removed in the first place as they were clearly intended to contrast the political manipulation of the nuns in the story to ever more blasphemous and sexual deviation against the juxtaposed cut-away scenes of the cardinal's increasing virtuosity...and Commode called in some American (why are they always American?) Chief Catholic Priest bloke to substantiate this argument.
The film is, as I type, being shown in its entirity, the 'Rape of Christ' scenes (bushy fannies and the Jesus face squatting sequence etc) back where it belongs.
"This is a work of cinematic magnificence," said one of Russell's friends during the review, building himself up to an orgasmic climax. "Stunning visuals choreographed with incredible music that chew the viewer up and spit them back out again."
This is one of Channel 4's perenial 'art' films with an extra few minutes of naked nuns included this time around. Not that I'm complaining. I happen to enjoy young naked nuns cavorting with each other...not that you get a lot of them around Fleetwood...it's a bit chilly at this time of year I suspect. But like all of Russell's movies this one continues the trend of taking a basic story and turning it into a cheesy pantomime. It's excessive, it's mainly boring (except for the naked nuns bit) and it falls nicely into the Channel 4 category of 'Artistic merit" working in the full knowledge that the sex scenes aren't quite long enough for a proper wank...unless you record them and keep the remote handy of course.
Calling 'The Devils' a work of genius is like calling the Carry On Films works of classic comedy. Yes...the nun's tits are fun. But let's keep this in context eh?
Next week I shall be reviewing Debbie Does Dallas, an interesting film in the 'exploitation' genre that attempts to subvert the misogny of 70's America through its visual impact. A box of tissues recommended.