This is a masterpiece. It probably goes straight to become my favourite film of all time. So terrifying and horrific. I thought that the set design by Derek Jarman was a genius idea. Those white tall wall are evocative of Fascist architecture, but it never clashes with the historical accuracy of the horrors in the film. Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed are beyond incredible. I am saddened I can't give more stars.
Russell, through the maniacal coitus of visual and narrative designs, touched the threshold between what can be called True religion, which informs and provokes, seeking Divinity - and False religion, manifest in Man, built only for subjugation and repression. This is banned not because of its visuals, but because it speaks truth to this power, revealing with screams how we delude ourselves into submissive ideologies
Miracles do happen! Russell and Watkins' compositions POP, from the crowded orgies, to the perfectly off center placement of Redgrave's head amidst fearful symmetry, to those that track flights of wistful, theatrical fantasy, to the painterly court. Within seconds I was pretty sure this film could take me anywhere. de Certeau's "Possession at Loudun" is great supplemental reading.
Two millennia of guilt & fear, the greatest lie ever told. God's not real, not in the sense these people believed; rather, god is a flimsy excuse for the basest, most vile components of man. These devils aren't devils, they're the self-righteous, power-hungry church/state-complex. The horror in Russell's film is not genre but the horror of suffering people inflict unto one another. Also, crocodile swordfight. Amen.