Love Is The Devil

John Maybury’s first feature, subtitled Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, is a passionate and highly personal work whose impact will partially depend on how you feel about Bacon’s paintings. Maybury didn’t receive permission to use any of those paintings in the film, but one could argue that this homage goes well beyond the range we associate with biopics of artists. Basically set during the 60s and early 70s, the film concentrates on the sadomasochistic relationship between Bacon (played by Derek Jacobi) and his hard trade model and lover over seven years, a burglar and petty thief named George Dyer (Daniel Craig). There’s also a detailed portrait of Bacon’s foppish salon that gathered at London’s Colony Room, presided over by Tilda Swinton. I admire this movie more than I like it, maybe because I’m not very partial to Bacon’s work, but there’s no question that it carries a visceral charge and lots of inventive energy. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.