8 December 2002 | gnosticboy
A Tour-de-Force of Pop-surrealism, and surgery
To many, this film is the stunning-proof that Ken Russell never
had it, that idiocy and egoism were mistaken for genius. This
belief is unfounded. Is this film over-indulgent? Yes it is, dear
readers, very-much-so, because it is art, not entertainment. That- said, if you chuck any-expectations, this is a funny film and allegory
about the rise of pop-culture in the 19th Century, and the parallels
with the other generally-hollow spectacle known as "rock." This is
great film-making, and it should be noted that it has similarities
between itself and "Rocky Horror," and even "Hedwig," as they all
examine and explore the relationships between sexuality and pop- culture in similar-areas. It is also an odd bridge-between "classic"
rock and the emergent punk-movement of the time. It can also be
seen as a statement that "rock" is not really subversive, or
rebellious at-all, but ultimately "arch-conservative," and repressive.
Ironically (or maybe-not!), Mr. Russell had contracted Malcolm
McCalren and Vivienne Westwood to design S&M-costumes for
his film, "Mahler." It should also-be-noted that "Listz-o-Mania" was
released exactly the same year that McClaren's shop "SEX"
opened on King's Row, the rest is as they say... Basically-put, this
is about the the ins-and-outs of "why" we want and need pop- culture, and WHAT we generally-want from our "pop-idols" (sex, of- course). One could easily-say this film criticizes the absurd- spectacle that rock had-become by 1975, and we get this quite- often in the film, but it goes much-deeper, into the relationship- between artist and patron. The sexuality is about mass- psychology, too, so we get-a-nod towards Wilhelm Reich, and lots
of Freud. It is certainly a very-personal film for Russell, and
probably amuses him as much as it does myself that it enrages
so-many people who simply do-not get it... SO WHERE IS THE DVD, WARNER BROTHERS? WHERE IS THE UNCUT-VERSION OF "THE DEVILS?" WE REALLY WANT-IT, WE"RE OUT-HERE.